Enhancing photoluminescence of conjugated nanoparticles through graft polymer architectures

Ashley E. Masucci, Masoud Ghasemi, Christian W. Pester, Enrique D. Gomez

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Polymer nanoparticles are an emerging class of materials with potential impact in sensing, catalysis, imaging, cosmetics, and therapeutics. Here, a collection of graft polymers with conjugated polythiophene backbones were synthesized via a grafting-to approach. We functionalized polythiophene backbones with side chains of either poly(3-hexylthiophene) (P3HT), poly(ethylene oxide), or poly(methyl methacrylate) (PMMA) via copper-catalyzed azide-alkyne click chemistry. The backbones, graft polymers and a linear poly(3-hexylthiophene) were fabricated into nanoparticles through precipitation in aqueous media. We measured the absorption and emission spectra of the polymers dissolved in chloroform and as nanoparticles suspended in water. Compared to linear P3HT, all graft polymer nanoparticles exhibit higher quantum yields. Moreover, the addition of PMMA side chains increased the quantum yield by more than two orders of magnitude. This versatile approach to conjugated graft copolymer synthesis demonstrates a route for enhancing photoluminescence of conjugated polymer nanoparticles that could be beneficial for a variety of applications, such as biosensing and bioimaging.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2586-2594
Number of pages9
JournalMaterials Advances
Issue number12
StatePublished - Jun 6 2023

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Chemistry (miscellaneous)
  • General Materials Science

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