Nanocomposites of inherently conductive polyaniline (PANT) within a highly hydrophilic polyvinyl alcohol (PVA) based hydrogel have been produced by coupling a conventional dispersion chemical oxidative polymerization to a subsequent high energy irradiation step, in order to convert the polymer stabilizing the aqueous dispersion, namely the PVA, into a highly water swollen hydrogel incorporating the PANT particles. The incorporation of the electroactive and "pH-sensitive" polymer into a transparent and highly permeable hydrogel matrix has been pursued as a route to the development of a novel class of potentially biocompatible, smart hydrogels that can respond to changes of the surrounding environment with measurable changes in their optical properties. Absorption spectra show that the optical absorption bands typical of PANT, known to be reversibly affected by changes of the polymer oxidation state or pH or both, are well preserved in the PVA hydrogels. Even more interestingly, fluorescence is observed from the nanoparticles of PANT in its inherently conductive form, whose intensity is strongly affected by changes of pH. This has enhanced the importance of this material to a large extent from both a scientific and a practical point of view.
|Stato di pubblicazione||Published - 2007|
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