The work is devoted to the development and study of conducting nanocomposites of poly(3-methylthiophene) (P3MT) and poly(vinylidene fluoride) (PVDF), suitable for changing properties when interaction with of the environment components, and to find factors of influence on properties of such materials. The kinetic aspects of P3MT formation in the process of 3-methylthiophene (3MT) polymerization in PVDF dispersions in the presence of dopants of different nature, in particular, chloride (Cl–), as well as surface-active dodecylbenzenesulfonate (DBS–) and perfluorooctanoate (PFO–) anions are studied. It is found that DBS– and PFO– anions inhibit 3MT oxidation and decrease P3MT yield in comparison with those of chloride anions. It is shown that P3MT is formed through two consecutive kinetically different reactions of pseudo-first order in terms of the oxidant concentration. Transmission electron microscopy revealed that as a result of such polymerization nanoparticles of doped P3MT formed a surface inhomogeneous layer on PVDF particles, thus forming nanocomposite particles with core-shell morphology. Thermal studies showed higher thermal stability of the doped P3MT phase in the nanocomposite compared to the pure polymer. It is found that thermal stability of the P3MT phase in the PVDF/P3MT-DBS nanocomposites is higher than in the PVDF/P3MT-Cl.
The influence of the dopant nature and content of doped P3MT on conductivity and sensitivity of the nanocomposites to vapors of harmful volatile organic compounds (acetone and isopropanol) is characterized. The strongest responses to acetone are shown by the nanocomposite with PFO– dopant. In the DBS– dopant case medium intensity responses are found and the lowest ones are observed for Cl– dopant. It is shown that the sensitivity of nanocomposites extremely depends on the conducting polymer content.