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J Phys Chem B. 2008 Jan 24;112(3):760-3. doi: 10.1021/jp0767765. Epub 2008 Jan 3.

Tuning the optical properties of a water-soluble cationic poly(p-phenylenevinylene): surfactant complexation with a conjugated polyelectrolyte.

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  • 1Department of Chemistry, Pomona College, 645 N. College Avenue, Claremont, California 91711, USA.


In this work, we investigate the emission and absorbance properties of the novel water-soluble cationic conjugated polymer poly{2,5-bis[3-(N,N,N-triethylammonium bromide)-1-oxapropyl]-1,4-phenylenevinylene}, denoted here as P2, in the presence of varying amounts of the anionic surfactant sodium dodecylsulfate (SDS). We show that the absolute photoluminescence quantum efficiency (PLQE), the absorption wavelength, and the emission wavelength of an aqueous solution of P2 can be adjusted according to the surfactant/polymer ratio in aqueous solution. In particular, we show that the addition of SDS to P2 increases the polyelectrolyte's PLQE to approximately 40%. An observed red shift in the emission spectra upon addition of the surfactant is attributed to the reduction in electrostatic repulsive interactions between side chains that minimize the benzene ring twisting along the backbone structure. At the surfactant's critical micelle concentration, the P2 chains wrap around the outer surface of the SDS micelles. This work has implications on the development of new stable poly(p-phenylenevinylene)-based photovoltaic and electroluminescent materials with tunable optical properties.

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