We present aqueous dispersions of conjugated polymer nanowires (CPNWs) with improved light absorption properties aimed at aqueous-based applications. We assembled films of a donor–acceptor-type conjugated polymer and liquid crystalline 4-n-octylbenzoic acid by removing a cosolvent of their mixture solutions, followed by annealing of the films, and then formed aqueous-dispersed CPNWs with an aspect ratio >1000 by dispersing the films under ultrasonication at a basic pH. X-ray and spectroscopy studies showed that the polymer and liquid crystal molecules form independent domains in film assemblies and highly organized layer structures in CPNWs. Our ordered molecular assemblies in films and aqueous dispersions of CPNWs open up a new route to fabricate nanowires of low-band-gap linear conjugated polymers with the absorption maximum at 794 nm remarkably red-shifted from 666 nm of CPNWs prepared by an emulsion process. Our results suggest the presence of semicrystalline polymorphs β1 and β2 phases in CPNWs due to long-range π–π stacking of conjugated backbones in compactly organized lamellar structures. The resulting delocalization with a reduced energy bang gap should be beneficial for enhancing charge transfer and energy-conversion efficiencies in aqueous-based applications such as photocatalysis.
|Number of pages||13|
|State||Published - 21 Dec 2021|