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Title: Thermoreversible Morphology and Conductivity of a Conjugated Polymer Network Embedded in Block Copolymer Self-Assemblies

Self-assembly of block copolymers provides numerous opportunities to create functional materials, utilizing self-assembled microdomains with a variety of morphology and periodic architectures as templates for functional nanofillers. Here new progress is reported toward the fabrication of thermally responsive and electrically conductive polymeric self-assemblies made from a water-soluble poly(thiophene) derivative with short poly(ethylene oxide) side chains and Pluronic L62 block copolymer solution in water. The structural and electrical properties of conjugated polymer-embedded self-assembled architectures are investigated by combining small-angle neutron and X-ray scattering, coarse-grained molecular dynamics simulations, and impedance spectroscopy. The L62 solution template organizes the conjugated polymers by stably incorporating them into the hydrophilic domains thus inhibiting aggregation. The changing morphology of L62 during the micellarto- lamellar phase transition defines the embedded conjugated polymer network. As a result, the conductivity is strongly coupled to the structural change of the templating L62 phase and exhibits thermally reversible behavior with no signs of quenching of the conductivity at high temperature. In conclusion, this study shows promise for enabling more flexibility in processing and utilizing water-soluble conjugated polymers in aqueous solutions for self-assembly based fabrication of stimuli-responsive nanostructures and sensory materials.
Authors:
 [1] ;  [2] ;  [3] ;  [4] ;  [5] ;  [2] ;  [6] ;  [4] ;  [1] ;  [1]
  1. Oak Ridge National Lab. (ORNL), Oak Ridge, TN (United States). Biology and Soft Matter Division, Neutron Sciences Directorate
  2. Oak Ridge National Lab. (ORNL), Oak Ridge, TN (United States). Center for Nanophase Materials Science (CNMS); Oak Ridge National Lab. (ORNL), Oak Ridge, TN (United States). Computer Science and Mathematics Division
  3. Oak Ridge National Lab. (ORNL), Oak Ridge, TN (United States). Biology and Soft Matter Division, Neutron Sciences Directorate; Forschungszentrum Julich (Germany). Julich Center for Neutron Science (JCNS)
  4. Oak Ridge National Lab. (ORNL), Oak Ridge, TN (United States). Chemical Sciences Division
  5. Oak Ridge National Lab. (ORNL), Oak Ridge, TN (United States). Center for Nanophase Materials Science (CNMS)
  6. Forschungszentrum Julich (Germany). Julich Center for Neutron Science (JCNS)
Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
1327591
Grant/Contract Number:
AC05-00OR22725; -AC02-06CH11357
Type:
Accepted Manuscript
Journal Name:
Small
Additional Journal Information:
Journal Volume: 12; Journal Issue: 35; Journal ID: ISSN 1613-6810
Publisher:
Wiley
Research Org:
Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL), Oak Ridge, TN (United States). Center for Nanophase Materials Sciences (CNMS); Oak Ridge National Lab. (ORNL), Oak Ridge, TN (United States). Spallation Neutron Source (SNS)
Sponsoring Org:
USDOE Office of Science (SC), Basic Energy Sciences (BES) (SC-22)
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
36 MATERIALS SCIENCE; conjugated polymers; self-assembly; small-angle scattering; thermoreversible conductivity; triblock copolymers