Multilayer and surface immobilization of EDOT-decorated nanocapsules


To assess the feasibility of utilizing reagent-loaded, porous polymeric nanocapsules (NCs) for chemical and biochemical sensor design, the surfaces of the NCs were decorated with 3,4-ethylenedioxythiophene (EDOT) moieties. The pores in the capsule wall allow unhindered bidirectional diffusion of molecules smaller than the programmed pore sizes, while larger molecules are either entrapped inside or blocked from entering the interior of the nanocapsules. Here, we investigate two electrochemical deposition methods to covalently attach acrylate-based porous nanocapsules with 3,4-ethylenedioxythiophene moieties on the nanocapsule surface, i.e., EDOT-decorated NCs to the surface of an existing PEDOT film: (1) galvanostatic or bilayer deposition with supporting EDOT in the deposition solution and (2) potentiostatic deposition without supporting EDOT in the deposition solution. The distribution of the covalently attached NCs in the PEDOT films was studied by variable angle FTIR-ATR and XPS depth profiling. The galvanostatic deposition of EDOT-decorated NCs over an existing PEDOT (tetrakis(pentafluorophenyl)borate) [PEDOT(TPFPhB)] film resulted in a bilayer structure, with an interface between the NC-free and NC-loaded layers, that could be traced with variable angle FTIR-ATR measurements. In contrast, the FTIR-ATR and XPS analyses of the films deposited potentiostatically from a solution without EDOT and containing only the EDOT-decorated NCs showed small amounts of NCs in the entire cross section of the films.

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