Remarkable self-organization and unusual conductivity behavior in cellulose nanocrystal-PEDOT: PSS nanocomposites

Kazi M. Alam, Piyush Kar, Ujwal K. Thakur, Ryan Kisslinger, Najia Mahdi, Arash Mohammadpour, Payal A. Baheti, Pawan Kumar, Karthik Shankar

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Aqueous suspensions of cellulose nanocrystals were blended with Poly(3,4-ethylenedioxythiophene):poly(styrene sulfonate) [PEDOT:PSS], and cast into thin films. The morphology, structure and electrical properties of the resulting nanocomposite thin films were thoroughly characterized. We found that the CNC–PEDOT:PSS blends self-organize into a layered vertical stack with a pitch of 100–200 nm while retaining a continuous percolation network for PEDOT. Atomic force microscopy, dynamic light scattering and multi-angle light scattering measurements confirmed the wrapping of polymer chains around the rod-like CNCs. The blended films exhibited improved molecular ordering of the PEDOT chains with concomitant improvement in the carrier mobility. The remarkable self-organization and enhanced structural order enabled the CNC–PEDOT:PSS blends to exhibit a high conductivity typical of PEDOT:PSS even when the content of the insulating CNCs in the nanocomposite was as high as 50 wt%.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1390-1399
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Materials Science: Materials in Electronics
Issue number2
Early online date19 Dec 2018
Publication statusPublished - 30 Jan 2019


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