Journal of Materials Science

, Volume 52, Issue 1, pp 113–137 | Cite as

Selection of electroactive copolymers synthesized from 3-octylthiophene/biphenyl at low potentials as precursors for nanostructured thin-film formation

  • Sophia Karamanou
  • Johannis Simitzis
Original Paper


Electrically conducting copolymers of 3-octylthiophene and biphenyl in equimolar ratio were synthesized and also homopolymers for comparison reasons by potentiostatic electropolymerization, and the polymers were deposited as coatings. Based on various criteria, a proper copolymer was selected and the homopolymer of poly(3-octylthiophene) (P3OT) for comparison reasons, in order to investigate their ability to prepare nanostructured thin films. The latter were synthesized by spin coating from solutions of the polymers in anisole. The polymers were characterized by proper methods such as size-exclusion chromatography (SEC), scanning electron microscopy/energy-dispersive spectroscopy (SEM/EDAX), X-ray diffraction (XRD), differential scanning calorimetry (DSC), ultraviolet–visible spectroscopy (UV–Vis), dynamic light scattering (DLS), atomic force microscopy (AFM), and cyclic voltammetry including also the determination of the limiting viscosity number [η] and their electrical conductivity (σ). The selected copolymer and the (P3OT) are mainly amorphous having also regions with order, the copolymer is soluble in more solvents, (P3OT) has higher σ, and both polymers form nanostructured thin films containing nanoparticles with ellipsoid morphology. Generally, the copolymers exhibit comparable properties with those of (P3OT); however, they are far cheaper. Besides the novelty to extend electroactive polymers in new application directions such as nanostructured materials, a further novelty consists of a proposed methodology based on the experimental data, in order to estimate different parameters at molecular level, especially for the macromolecules in solution. The energy gap E g (band gap) of the polymers as nanostructured thin films was determined by cyclic voltammetry indicating semiconductor behavior, which was also confirmed by their electrical conductivity.


Differential Scanning Calorimetry Dynamic Light Scattering High Occupied Molecular Orbital Lower Unoccupied Molecular Orbital HDPE 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.



The authors thank G. Bokias, Associate Professor of the Department of Chemistry of University of Patras, for kindly helping in the SEC measurements, S. Pispas of Theoretical and Physical Chemistry Institute of National Hellenic Research Foundation for kindly helping in the DLS measurements, and Professor D. Manolakos of the School of Mechanical Engineering of NTUA, for kindly helping in the AFM measurements.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

This research has been co-financed by the European Union (European Social Fund–ESF) and Greek National funds through the Operational Program “Education and Lifelong Learning” of the National Strategic Reference Framework (NSRF)–Research Funding Program: Heracleitus II. Investing in knowledge society through the European Social Fund. The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Supplementary material

10853_2016_315_MOESM1_ESM.docx (28 kb)
Supplementary material 1 (DOCX 27 kb)


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Laboratory Unit “Advanced and Composite Materials”, Department III, “Materials Science and Engineering”, School of Chemical EngineeringNational Technical University of AthensZografou CampusGreece

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