Acid-responsive polydiacetylene-Na+ assemblies with unique red-to-blue color transition

Rungarune Saymung, Ruttayapon Potai, Christine M. Papadakis, Nisanart Traiphol, Rakchart Traiphol

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Polydiacetylenes (PDAs), conjugated and stimuli-responsive polymers, are of interest for colorimetric sensing technologies. Commercially available PDAs with carboxylic headgroup do not show any colorimetric response to acid. To achieve acid-responsive property, the headgroups of PDAs are often modified with some functional moieties, involving complicated synthetic processes. This contribution presents a facile approach to develop acid-responsive materials via co-assembly of PDA and excess sodium hydroxide (NaOH). After low-temperature incubation and photopolymerization, the mixtures of 10,12-tricosadiynoic acid (TCDA) and NaOH develop into red-phase poly (TCDA-Na+) assemblies. A unique red-to-blue color transition occurs when the poly (TCDA-Na+) assemblies are exposed to hydrogen chloride (HCl) acid both in aqueous solution and gas phase. Increasing the concentrations of NaOH and TCDA monomer during the self-assembly process affects the molecular organization and morphologies of the resultant poly (TCDA-Na+) assemblies, which in turn govern the sensitivity to acid. The results of this study offer a simple and inexpensive method for developing acid-responsive PDAs, extending their colorimetric sensing applications.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere27574
Issue number5
StatePublished - 15 Mar 2024


  • Acid sensor
  • Polydiacetylene
  • Red-to-blue transition
  • Self-assembly


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