Colloid and Polymer Science

, Volume 297, Issue 1, pp 69–76 | Cite as

Agglomeration controllable reprecipitation method using solvent mixture for synthesizing conductive polymer nanoparticles

  • Zhoulu Wang
  • Jun Huang
  • Wei Huang
  • Hideki Yamamoto
  • Seigou KawaguchiEmail author
  • Masaru NagaiEmail author
Original Contribution


Conductive polymer nanoparticles (NPs) exhibit a strong tendency to agglomerate because of strong interactions between the π electrons in the polymer. The use of a surfactant to control this agglomeration is problematic because doing so can adversely affect the characteristics of electronic devices to which the NPs are applied. By exploiting the affinity between the polymer and solvent, a modified reprecipitation method for controlling the agglomeration without the use of a surfactant was developed. The affinity between conductive polymer NPs comprising poly(3-hexylthiophene) and various solvent mixtures consisting of chloroform and ethanol was systematically tuned by varying the mixture composition. The increase in the poor solvent ratio led to the substantial increase in the agglomeration tendency. Adjusting the good solvent ratio to be within a narrow region, 70–77%, resulted in the formation of NPs with high stability and a high synthesis yield. This region corresponded to 1.4–1.7 of the relative energy difference between the polymer and solvent mixture as derived from the Hansen solubility parameters.

Graphical abstract

Agglomeration growth of NP size on time: Correlation with relative energy difference (RED) of mixed solvents.


Conductive polymers Polymer nanoparticles Hansen solubility parameters Agglomeration Mixed solvents 











Hansen solubility parameter


Relative energy difference


Dynamic light scattering


Scanning electron microscope



This study was supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of China (21304047), the Natural Science Foundation of Jiangsu Province (BK20151533), the Research Fund for the Doctoral Program of Higher Education (20133221120015), the Postgraduate Innovation Foundation of Jiangsu Province (2014, KYZZ_0226) and the Primary Research & Development Plan of Jiangsu Province (BE2016183).

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Supplementary material

396_2018_4418_MOESM1_ESM.pdf (324 kb)
ESM 1 (PDF 324 kb)


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Key Laboratory of Flexible Electronics (KLOFE) & Institute of Advanced Materials (IAM), Jiangsu National Synergetic Innovation Center for Advanced Materials (SICAM)Nanjing Tech University (NanjingTech)NanjingPeople’s Republic of China
  2. 2.Department of Chemical, Energy and Environmental EngineeringKansai UniversitySuitaJapan
  3. 3.Department of Organic Materials ScienceYamagata UniversityYonezawaJapan

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