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Self-organization of polyaniline during oxidative polymerization: formation of granular structure

Mikhail A. Shishov, Vyacheslav A. Moshnikov, and Irina Yu. Sapurina

St. Petersburg State Electro-Technical University (LETI), prof. Popova 5, St. Petersburg, 197376, Russia

 

E-mail: sapurina@mail.ru

Abstract: The paper is focused on oxidative polymerization of aniline proceeding in an acid medium with a strong oxidant; formation of polyaniline (PANI) granular structures in different steps of the synthesis was studied. The relationship between the processes of self-organization of the growing polymer into supramolecular structures and the steps of molecular synthesis has been revealed. It was shown that during the induction period (the initial synthesis step), insoluble non-conducting products are formed. They are characterized by the absorption band at 430 nm corresponding to the wavelength of the phenazinium cation radical peak. In the second step, the polymer chain growth, conducting PANI granules with the diameter of 50 nm were obtained. These granules consist of spherical particles with the diameter as small as several nanometers. Then, the granule dimensions increased to 200 nm due to the growth of the spheres; the sphere diameter reached 20 nm. The number of spheres in a granule remained constant. Both precipitate and PANI film consist of common structural elements, polymer spheres, organized into granules and larger structures. Suppression of the polymer chain growth leads to the formation of non-conducting aniline oligomers which are self-organized into large particles with fractal structure. To describe the self-organization processes of a growing polymer chain, the diffusion-limited aggregation mechanism was used.

Keywords: granular polyaniline – conducting polymer – molecular mechanism – self-organization – diffusion-limited aggregation

Full paper is available at www.springerlink.com.

DOI: 10.2478/s11696-012-0284-6

 

Chemical Papers 67 (8) 909–918 (2013)

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