American Chemical Society
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Fluorescence Enhancement of a Cationic Fluorene–Phenylene Conjugated Polyelectrolyte Induced by Nonionic n‑Alkyl Polyoxyethylene Surfactants

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journal contribution
posted on 2017-11-06, 15:49 authored by María Monteserín, Hugh D. Burrows, Artur J. M. Valente, A. A. C. C. Pais, Roberto E. Di Paolo, Antonio L. Maçanita, María J. Tapia
The modulation of conjugated polyelectrolyte fluorescence response by nonionic surfactants is dependent on the structures of the surfactant and polymer, polymer average molecular weight, and polyelectrolyte–surfactant interactions. In this paper, we study the effect of nonionic n-alkyl polyoxyethylene surfactants (CiEj) with different alkyl chain lengths (CiE5 with i = 6, 8, 10, and 12) and number of oxyethylene groups (C12Ej with j = 5, 7, and 9) on the photophysics and ionic conductivity of poly­{[9,9-bis­(6′-N,N,N-trimethylammonium)-hexyl]-2,7-fluorene-alt-1,4-phenylene}­bromide (HTMA-PFP) in dimethyl sulfoxide–water 4% (v/v). Molecular dynamics simulations show that HTMA-PFP chains tend to approach as the simulation evolves. However, the minimum distance between the polymer centers of mass increases upon addition of the surfactant and grows with both the surfactant alkyl chain length and the number of oxyethylene groups, although there are no specific polymer–surfactant interactions. A significant increase in the polymer emission intensity has been observed at surfactant concentrations around their critical micelle concentrations (cmcs), which is attributed to polymer aggregate disruption. However, an increase in the solution conductivity for concentrations above the C12E5 cmc has only been observed for the HTMA-PFP/C12E5 system. The enhancement of fluorescence emission intensity and conductivity upon surfactant addition increases with polymer average molecular weights and seems to be controlled by the polymer–surfactant proximity, which is maximum for C10E5 and C12E5.