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Enhanced Optical Properties and Opaline Self-Assembly of PPV Encapsulated in Mesoporous Silica Spheres

TitleEnhanced Optical Properties and Opaline Self-Assembly of PPV Encapsulated in Mesoporous Silica Spheres
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2009
AuthorsKelly, TL, Yamada, Y, Schneider, C, Yano, K, Wolf, MO
Date PublishedDEC 9

A new poly(p-phenylenevinylene) (PPV) composite material has been developed by the incorporation of insoluble PPV polymer chains in the pores of monodisperse mesoporous silica spheres through an ion-exchange and in situ polymerization method. The polymer distribution within the resultant colloidal particles is characterized by electron microscopy, energy dispersive X-ray microanalysis, powder X-ray diffraction, and nitrogen adsorption. It was found that the polymer was selectively incorporated into the mesopores of the silica host and was well distributed throughout the body of the particles. This confinement of the polymer influences the optical properties of the composite; these were examined by UV-vis and fluorescence spectroscopy and time-correlated single-photon counting. The results show a material that exhibits an extremely high fluorescence quantum yield (approaching 85%), and an improved resistance to oxidative photobleaching compared to PPV. These enhanced optical properties are further complemented by the overall processability of the colloidal material. in marked contrast to the insolubility of PPV, the material can be processed as a stable colloidal dispersion, and the individual composite spheres can be self-assembled into opaline films using the vertical deposition method. The bandgap of the opal can be engineered to overlap with the emission band of the polymer, which has significant ramifications for lasing.