Poly(Pyridinium Salt)s Containing 2,7-Diamino-9,9′-Dioctylfluorene Moieties with Various Organic Counterions Exhibiting Both Lyotropic Liquid-Crystalline and Light-Emitting Properties


A series of poly(pyridinium salt)s-fluorene main-chain ionic polymers with various organic counterions were synthesized by using ring-transmutation polymerization and metathesis reactions. Their chemical structures were characterized by Fourier Transform Infrared (FTIR), proton (1H), and fluorine 19 (19F) nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) spectrometers. These polymers showed a number-average molecular weight (Mns) between 96.5 and 107.8 kg/mol and polydispersity index (PDI) in the range of 1.12–1.88. They exhibited fully-grown lyotropic phases in polar protic and aprotic solvents at different critical concentrations. Small-angle X-ray scattering for one polymer example indicates lyotropic structure formation for 60–80% solvent fraction. A lyotropic smectic phase contains 10 nm polymer platelets connected by tie molecules. The structure also incorporates a square packing motif within platelets. Thermal properties of polymers were affected by the size of counterions as determined by differential scanning calorimetry and thermogravimetric analysis measurements. Their ultraviolet-visible (UV-Vis) absorption spectra in different organic solvents were essentially identical, indicating that the closely spaced π-π* transitions occurred in their conjugated polymer structures. In contrast, the emission spectra of polymers exhibited a positive solvatochromism on changing the polarity of solvents. They emitted green lights in both polar and nonpolar organic solvents and showed blue light in the film-states, but their λem peaks were dependent on the size of the counterions. They formed aggregates in polar aprotic and protic solvents with the addition of water (v/v, 0–90%), and their λem peaks were blue shifted.

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