Aqueous dispersions of colloidal poly(3-hexylthiophene) gel particles with high internal porosity

Jeffrey J. Richards, Kathleen M. Weigandt, Danilo C. Pozzo*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

27 Scopus citations


This work outlines the development of nano-porous, sub-micron poly(3-hexylthiophene) (P3HT) gel particles as solution-processable inks for applications in polymer solar cells. These dispersions are produced by emulsifying bulk P3HT organogels into water containing surfactant. The optical characteristics and stability of the resulting gel particles are assessed and their structure characterized. The P3HT within the gel particles is shown to retain its crystallinity with no evidence of doping. The gel particles are shown to be stable against aggregation due to the presence of surfactant at the oil/water interface. The fracture of the gel network during emulsification produces a bimodal distribution of particles that increase in size with increasing P3HT concentration in the 'parent' organogel. Small Angle Neutron Scattering measurements show that the particles maintain the structure of the bulk gels with high specific surface area. Spray-coating the gel particle dispersions produces uniform thin-films, which have been used to fabricate polymer/fullerene solar cells with a fully spray-coated active layer.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)341-350
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Colloid And Interface Science
Issue number2
StatePublished - Dec 15 2011


  • Dispersions
  • Gel particle
  • Organogel
  • Poly(3-hexlythiophene)
  • Solar cell

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Surfaces, Coatings and Films
  • Biomaterials
  • Colloid and Surface Chemistry


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