Modified solution technique for preparing poly(3,4-ethylenedioxythiophene) and a Poly(3,4-ethylenedioxythiophene)/silver nanocomposite: Optical and thermal behavior


Correspondence to: H. Behniafar (E-mail:


In this study, we prepared poly(3,4-ethylenedioxythiophene) (PEDOT) via the chemical oxidation of the 3,4-ethylenedioxythiophene monomer in a system consisting of miscible binary organic solvents, that is, acetonitrile (CH3CN) and chloroform (CHCl3). This successful technique was then used to synthesize a poly(3,4-ethylenedioxythiophene) (PEDOT)/silver (Ag) nanocomposite as well. In this facile and efficient technique, a higher solubility of the oxidizing reagent, which originated from a relative enhancement in the polarity of the reaction medium, led to significant changes in the optical and thermal behaviors of the resulting products. To investigate the degree of validity of the technique applied, a pure sample of PEDOT (PEDOT I) was also synthesized with CHCl3 alone, and this was then compared with a sample prepared in CH3CN/CHCl3 binary solvents (PEDOT II). To prepare the PEDOT/Ag nanocomposite, first the PEDOT synthesized in binary solvents was thoroughly dissolved in a dimethyl sulfoxide solvent. Next, Ag nanopowder was uniformly dispersed in the previous solution of PEDOT with sonication. The PEDOT/Ag nanocomposite was then precipitated through the addition of a methanol nonsolvent. The approximate size of nano-Ag within the polymer matrix was found to be about 40 nm. Scanning electron microscopy images of the pure PEDOT II and PEDOT/Ag nanocomposite exhibited an agglomerated sponge and nanospherical homogeneity, respectively. In comparison with PEDOT I, considerable redshifts in the ultraviolet–visible absorption spectra of the pure PEDOT II and PEDOT/Ag nanocomposite were observed. In addition, the thermostability order was found to be PEDOT/Ag > PEDOT II > PEDOT I at all temperatures above 300°C. © 2013 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. J. Appl. Polym. Sci. 130: 2707–2712, 2013