Hybrids of Semiconducting Single-walled Carbon Nanotubes and Tailored Conjugated Polyelectrolytes as Selective Sensor Materials

The availability of large amounts of polymer-sorted and well-defined, e.g. only (6,5), single-walled carbon nanotubes (SWNTs) enables their application in reproducible, solution-processed electronic devices such as sensors. In this project we will investigate and tailor the SWNT/polymer interaction in order to design and apply sensing mechanisms for ionic analytes, temperature and even light exposure. We will create purely semiconducting SWNT dispersions with established selective dispersion techniques and exchange the wrapping polymer with newly designed and synthesized polymers, namely conjugated polyelectrolytes that bind to specific cations (e.g. potassium) or are sensitive to pH changes; or with conjugated polymers with specific temperature and light-sensitive sidechains. We will investigate the electronic response of the nanotube/polymer hybrid to the presence of analytes and stimuli by Raman and fluorescence spectroscopy as well as zeta-potential measurements. As semiconducting nanotubes exhibit very high charge carrier mobilities in thin films it will be possible to convert the analyte-polymer-SWNT interaction directly into an electrical signal with the nanotubes as an efficient transducer in water-gated field-effect transistors as sensors. The combination of spectroscopic and charge transport data will give direct insight into the electronic interactions of semiconducting SWNTs and functionalized conjugated polymers depending on their environment.

01.12.2017 - 30.11.2020

Prof. Dr. U. Scherf

Budget: 213.600 €

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