Colloid and Polymer Science

, Volume 296, Issue 4, pp 637–645 | Cite as

Surface modification of polyaniline nanorods with thiol-terminated poly(ethylene oxide)

  • Brandon T. DiTullio
  • Cassandra J. Wright
  • Patricia Hayes
  • Paul J. Molino
  • Timothy W. Hanks
Original Contribution


Electrochemically grown polyaniline (PAni) thin films have been shown to react efficiently with thiols, which can dramatically change the surface properties of the material without significantly impacting bulk conductivity. Such films, however, are difficult to process and are unsuitable for many applications. Here, we demonstrate the grafting of thiol-terminated poly(ethylene oxide) (PEG-SH) of various molecular weights onto PAni nanorods. The resulting materials are characterized by spectroscopic, microscopic, and thermal analytical methods to demonstrate the covalent attachment of the PEG polymers to the nanorods. The derivatized nanorods are water dispersible and maintain their original morphology and electroactivity. The number of thiols bound to the nanoparticles under a given set of conditions decreases as the size increases, but the total mass of PEG increases with increasing size. The reaction proceeds at room temperature, but is much faster at higher temperature and greater PEG density is observed.


Polyaniline Poly(ethylene oxide) Thiol Nanoparticle Surface modification 



Acknowledgment is made to the Donors of the American Chemical Society Petroleum Research Fund for support of this research (Grant # 54873-UR7). BD thanks the Furman Advantage program for a fellowship. CW was supported by SC-INBRE PACD fellowship; grant # P20GM103499 from the National Institute of General Medical Sciences. Analytical support from the Australian National Nanofabrication Facility and the UOW Electron Microscopy Centre is acknowledged.


This study was funded by the American Chemical Society Petroleum Research Fund (Grant # 54873-UR7). Author DiTullio was supported by a summer undergraduate fellowship from Furman University. Author Wright was supported through a SC-INBRE PACD fellowship as part of grant # P20GM103499 from the National Institute of General Medical Sciences.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Brandon T. DiTullio
    • 1
  • Cassandra J. Wright
    • 2
  • Patricia Hayes
    • 3
  • Paul J. Molino
    • 3
    • 4
  • Timothy W. Hanks
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of ChemistryFurman UniversityGreenvilleUSA
  2. 2.Division of Engineering and MathematicsUniversity of Washington BothellBothellUSA
  3. 3.ARC Centre of Excellence for Electromaterials Science, Intelligent Polymer Research Institute/AIIM FacultyUniversity of WollongongWollongongAustralia
  4. 4.ARC Research Hub for Australian Steel Manufacturing, Intelligent Polymer Research Institute/AIIM FacultyUniversity of WollongongWollongongAustralia

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