Rapid template free synthesis of nanostructured conducting polymer film by tuning morphology using hyperbranched polymer additive
Nanostructures in conducting polymer films can enhance charge carrier and ion transfer, provide porosity with high specific area and introduce unique optoelectronic properties for potential applications. A general and facile synthesis has been developed to prepare nanostructured conducting polymer films without hustles of using templates. The simple approach employs hyperbranched polymer as additive to tune the morphology of conducting polymer film into continuous nanofibril network. Nanostructured conducting polymer films with improved crystallinity exhibit good charge carrier transport and stable nanofibril network without sacrificing either property when removing residual additives. Polymer field-effect transistor sensors have been used to demonstrate the benefits of the large surface area provided by the nanofibril network. The sensors with porous nanostructures exhibit lower detection limit (two times lower) and faster response time (33% faster) than the sensors without nanostructures. This general approach can advance the knowledge and development of nanostructured conducting polymer films for energy harvesting and storage, electronics, catalysts, sensors and biomedical applications.