Synthesis Of Inherently Conducting Polymers Nanostructures

A number of approaches have been used to produce inherently conducting polymer nanocomponents.

2.1. Use of Steric Stabilizers

With a view to improving the processability of inherently conducting polymers, a range of colloidal materials have been produced over the past 10 years. The conventional approach involves chemical oxidation of the monomer in the presence of a steric stabilizer such as PVA to produce stable colloidal dispersions [77-79] with particle sizes typically 10-200 jm.

Recently this approach has been refined and oxidation of aniline in DMSO in the presence of PVA has been used to produce dispersions containing particles as small as 5 nm [80].

In our laboratory we have developed an electrohydrody-namic approach for the synthesis of inherently conducting polymer colloids [81]. This involves the use of a flow-through electrochemical reactor using a high surface area vitreous carbon electrode. Using appropriate flow-through conditions, stable colloidal dispersions containing 100-200 nm spherical particles are readily produced (Fig. 10). This electrochemical approach allows facile incorporation of a wide range of dopants during colloid formation. For example, protein-containing colloids [82], colloids containing corrosion inhibitors [83], and, more recently, optically active colloids [84] have been produced.

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