UV-induced modification of PEDOT:PSS-based nanocomposite films investigated by Raman microscopy mapping

By Toto, Elisa; Botti, Sabina; Laurenzi, Susanna; Santonicola, M. Gabriella
Published in Applied Surface Science 2020


Nanocomposite films with high electrical conductivity and UV sensitivity were prepared by integration of DNA-modified graphene nanoplatelets (GNPs) with a polymer matrix made of poly(3,4-ethylenedioxythio-phene):poly(styrenesulfonate) (PEDOT:PSS). The exceptional electrical properties and mechanical strength of graphene were used to enhance the PEDOT:PSS properties and stability, whereas DNA molecules are sensitive to UV and have an exfoliating effect on the GNPs in aqueous solution. GNP-DNA/PEDOT:PSS films were exposed to radiation in the energetic UV-C band (254 nm), and their properties investigated before and after irradiation. Several techniques, including scanning electron microscopy, optical contact angle, electrical impedance and Raman spectroscopies, were used to characterize the nanocomposites and to investigate their sensitivity to UV. In particular, Raman microscopy mapping was used to analyze the chemical structure of the films and its modification at molecular level upon exposure to UV-C radiation. Results of these investigations are useful for the application of the GNP-DNA/PEDOT:PSS films in ultra-small and lightweight UV sensor devices for use in space environment, for example during extravehicular activities (EVA), or for industrial settings on Earth that are characterized by high levels of UV-C radiation.

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