School of Chemical Sciences

Nanostructured Materials

Contact Researchers: Assoc. Prof. Jadranka Travas-Sejdic, Prof. Graham Bowmaker

Five researchers who work with Nanotubes pose for a photo
Hui, Paul, Lijuan, Zoran and Jadranka at the School of Chemical Sciences

The synthesis and characterization of self-assembled nanostructures of conducting polymers, particularly polyaniline (PANI) (e.g. for sensor applications) has been investigated extensively during 2007-2008. The large surface area of these nanostructures promises enormous advantages in sensitivity and response speed over conducting polymer-based thin film sensors, as well as the possibility of electrocatalytic functionality.

Polyaniline Nanotubes

Self-assembled PANI nanotubes have been formed in the presence of a range of organic and inorganic acids, and with the inclusion of gold nanoparticles. With the addition of a polymeric acid, functionalisation of residual carboxylic acid groups has been used to construct a simple electrochemical DNA sensor (Dr Lijuan Zhang). A novel approach using pH-stat during aniline chemical polymerisationhas led to a higher purity yield of nanotubes and closer identification of the products formed under different pH conditions. PANI nanotubes have also been functionalized with hydroxymethylphosphine linker molecules (Comin Laslau - MSc, in conjunction with Prof. Bill Henderson of Waikato University).


Solid-state NMR studies of 15N labelled polyaniline nanotubes

A detailed, structural investigation of 15N labelled samples of PANI nanotubes has been carried out by using solid-state NMR spectroscopy. While many spectral features are typical of chemically synthesized PANI some features specific to the nanotube-containing material also could be identified (Dr Zoran Zujovic).

Nanostructures obtained from substituted polyanilines

Various micro/nanostructures of conducting polymers, including nanospheres obtained using poly(methoxyaniline) and poly(3,4-ethylenedioxythiophene) have been synthesised and characterised (Dr Hui Peng, Dr Lijuan Zhang and Sui Jing - PhD).

Recent publications

  • Z. Zujovic, C. Laslau, G.A. Bowmaker, P.A. Kilmartin, A. Webber, S. Brown and J. Travas-Sejdic, "The role of aniline oligomeric nanosheets in the formation of polyaniline nanotubes", Macromolecules 43 (2010) 662-670.
  • J. Sui, L. Zhang, J. Travas-Sejdic and P.A. Kilmartin, "Synthesis of Poly(3,4-ethylenedioxythiophene) hollow spheres in CTAB/DBS - mixed surfactant solutions", Macromolecular Symposia 290 (2010) 107-114.
  • J. Sui, L. Zhang, J. Travas-Sejdic and P.A. Kilmartin, "The synthesis and characterisation of substituted polyaniline hollow spheres doped with a polymeric acid", AIP Conference Proceedings 1151 (Advanced Materials and Nanotechnology) (2009) 40-43.
  • J. Sui, L. Zhang, H. Peng, J. Travas-Sejdic and P.A. Kilmartin, "Functionalized poly(o-methoxyaniline) hollow nanospheres grown from a polymeric acid solution", Nanotechnology 20 (2009) 415606.
  • L. Zhang, H. Peng, J. Sui, C. Soeller, P.A. Kilmartin and J. Travas-Sejdic, "Self-assembly of poly(o-methoxyaniline) hollow microspheres", Journal of Physical Chemistry C 113 (2009) 9128-9134.
  • C. Laslau, Z.D. Zujovic, L.J. Zhang, G.A. Bowmaker and J. Travas-Sejdic, "Morphological evolution of self-assembled polyaniline nanostructures obtained by pH-stat chemical oxidation", Chemistry of Materials 21 (2009) 954-962.
  • L. Zhang, Z. Zujovic, H. Peng, G.A. Bowmaker, P.A. Kilmartin and J. Travas-Sejdic, "Structural characteristics of polyaniline nanotubes synthesized from different buffer solutions", Macromolecules 41 (2008) 8877-8884.
  • L. Zhang, H. Peng, P.A. Kilmartin, C. Soeller, R. Tilley and J. Travas-Sejdic, "Self-assembled hollow polyaniline/Au nanospheres obtained by a one-step process", Macromolecular Rapid Communications 29 (2008) 598-603.
  • Z. Zujovic, L. Zhang, G.A. Bowmaker, P.A. Kilmartin and J. Travas-Sejdic, "Self-assembled nanostructured aniline oxidation products: a structural investigation", Macromolecules 41 (2008) 3125-3135.
  • L. Zhang, H. Peng, P.A. Kilmartin and J. Travas-Sejdic, "Polyaniline nanotubes doped with polymeric acids", Current Applied Physics 8 (2008) 312-315.
  • L. Zhang, H. Peng, Z.D. Zujovic, P.A. Kilmartin and J. Travas-Sejdic, "Characterisation of Polyaniline Nanotubes Formed in the Presence of Amino Acids", Macromolecular Chemistry and Physics 208 (2007) 1210-1217.
  • L. Zhang, H. Peng, P.A. Kilmartin, C. Soeller and J. Travas-Sejdic, "Polymeric Acid Doped Polyaniline Nanotubes for Oligonucleotide Sensors", Electroanalysis 19 (2007) 870-875.
  • L. Zhang, H. Peng, C.F. Hsu, P.A. Kilmartin and J. Travas-Sejdic, " Polyaniline Nanotubes Formed in Polymeric Acid Solution", Nanotechnology 18 (2007) 115607.