Versatile route for preparation of polydiacetylene/ZnO nanocomposites and their colorimetric response to pH and ethanol
AbstractThis contribution presents a simple method to prepare polydiacetylene(PDA)/ZnO nanocomposites, which can be utilized as active materials in sensing technology. The ZnO nanoparticles, which constitute of Zn-OH2 +, Zn-OH and Zn-O- groups at their surfaces, function as nano-substrates for self-assembling of diacetylene monomers, 10,12-pentacosadiynoic acid (PCDA), in aqueous medium. Photopolymerization of the assemblies yields poly(PCDA)/ZnO nanocomposites with core-shell structure. Strong interactions between the active groups at ZnO surface and carboxylic head groups of poly(PCDA) promote chain ordering and reduce segmental dynamics of poly(PCDA) in the nanocomposites. The existence of strong interfacial interaction drastically affects the colorimetric response behavior of the nanocomposites upon exposure to external stimuli. The poly(PCDA)/ZnO nanocomposites change color from blue to purple upon increasing pH to ~12.6 while the color transition from blue to red of pure poly(PCDA) vesicles takes place at pH~8. The addition of ethanol into aqueous suspension of pure poly(PCDA) vesicles causes color transition when the ethanol concentration is above ~45 %v/v. However, the addition of ethanol up to 90%v/v into aqueous suspension of the nanocomposites hardly affects their color.
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