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J Phys Chem B. 2005 May 12;109(18):8543-6.

Single molecule nanoparticles of the conjugated polymer MEH-PPV, preparation and characterization by near-field scanning optical microscopy.

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  • 1Department of Chemistry, Center for Optical Materials Science and Engineering Technologies, Clemson University, Clemson, South Carolina 29634, USA.


We have developed a straightforward method for producing a stable, aqueous suspension of hydrophobic, fluorescent pi-conjugated polymer nanoparticles consisting primarily of individual conjugated polymer molecules. Features of the method are the facile preparation, purity, unique optical properties, and small size (approximately 5-10 nm) of the resulting nanoparticles. The results of TEM, scanning force microscopy, and near-field scanning optical microscopy of particles cast from the suspension indicate that the particles are single conjugated polymer molecules. The NSOM results yield estimates of the optical cross-sections of individual conjugated polymer molecules. The UV-vis absorption spectra of the nanoparticle suspensions indicate a reduction in conjugation length attributed to deformations of the polymer backbone. Fluorescence spectra of the aqueous nanoparticle suspensions indicate interactions between segments of the polymer chain and intramolecular energy transfer.

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