iScience | VOL. 25

Facile synthesis of water-dispersible poly(3-hexylthiophene) nanoparticles with high yield and excellent colloidal stability.

Publication Date May 20, 2022


There has been growing interest in water-processable conjugated polymers for biocompatible devices. However, some broadly used conjugated polymers like poly(3-hexylthiophene) (P3HT) are hydrophobic and they cannot be processed in water. We herein report a facile yet highly efficient assembly method to prepare water-dispersible pyridine-containing P3HT (Py-P3HT) nanoparticles (NPs) with a high yield (>80%) and a fine size below 100nm. It is based on the fast nanoprecipitation of Py-P3HT stabilized by hydrophilic poly(acrylic acid) (PAA). Py-P3HT can form spherical NPs at a concentration up to 0.2mg/mL with a diameter of ∼75nm at a very low concentration of PAA, e.g., 0.01-0.1mg/mL, as surface ligands. Those negatively charged Py-P3HT NPs can bind with metal cations and further support the growth of noble metal NPs like Ag and Au. Our self-assembly methodology potentially opens new doors to process and directly use hydrophobic conjugated polymers in a much broader context.

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Excellent Colloidal Stability
Hydrophilic Poly
Surface Ligands
High Yield
Poly 3-hexylthiophene
Fine Size
Acrylic Acid
Metal Cations
High Yield Stability

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