Published online by Cambridge University Press: 10 February 2011
Extensive gel permeation chromatography coupled with surface structure measurements clearly indicate that polyaniline (pani) base has a tendency to aggregate as a result of interchain hydrogen-bonding. The aggregation is present in the solid state powder; the extent of aggregation is found to be significantly dependent on the synthetic conditions. Pani base powders having a high degree of aggregation have significantly reduced solubility. The degree of aggregation of pani base in solution is found to be dependent on the solvent, concentration, and temperature. As the solvent becomes a better solvent for the base material, the less aggregated is the structure. Solvents which can strongly interact with the polymer disrupt the aggregation. In addition, salts such as LiCl which complex the polymer via a “pseudo-doping” process, also disrupt the internal pani hydrogen-bonding and deaggregate the polymer. As the polymer is deaggregated to different levels by a solvent or by LiCl, the individual chains can better be solvated and thus a conformational change also occurs. The chains adapt a more expanded coil type of conformation. The degree of expansion depends on the solvation power of the solvent. As the level of deaggregation and subsequent chain expansion increases, a significant red shift is observed in the λmaximum of the exciton absorbance and the surface structure of the polymer becomes smoother. It is found that the LiCl induced morphological changes results in increased conductivity upon doping pani base with a protonic acid.
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