Dimensional Control of Block Copolymer Nanofibers with a -Conjugated Core: Crystallization-Driven Solution Self-Assembly of Amphiphilic Poly(3-hexylthiophene)-b-poly(2-vinylpyridine)

Jessica Gwyther, Joe B. Gilroy, Paul A. Rupar, David J. Lunn, Emily Kynaston, Sanjib K. Patra, George R. Whittell, Mitchell A. Winnik*, Ian Manners

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)peer-review

77 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

With the aim of accessing colloidally stable, fiberlike, -conjugated nanostructures of controlled length, we have studied the solution self-assembly of two asymmetric crystalline-coil, regioregular poly(3-hexylthiophene)-b-poly(2-vinylpyridine) (P3HT-b-P2VP) diblock copolymers, P3HT23-b-P2VP115 (block ratio=1:5) and P3HT44-b-P2VP115 (block ratio=ca. 1:3). The self-assembly studies were performed under a variety of solvent conditions that were selective for the P2VP block. The block copolymers were prepared by using Cu-catalyzed azide-alkyne cycloaddition reactions of azide-terminated P2VP and alkyne end-functionalized P3HT homopolymers. When the block copolymers were self-assembled in a solution of a 50% (v/v) mixture of THF (a good solvent for both blocks) and an alcohol (a selective solvent for the P2VP block) by means of the slow evaporation of the common solvent; fiberlike micelles with a P3HT core and a P2VP corona were observed by transmission electron microscopy (TEM). The average lengths of the micelles were found to increase as the length of the hydrocarbon chain increased in the P2VP-selective alcoholic solvent (MeOH3m) fiberlike micelles were prepared by the dialysis of solutions of the block copolymers in THF against iPrOH. Furthermore the widths of the fibers were dependent on the degree of polymerization of the chain-extended P3HT blocks. The crystallinity and -conjugated nature of the P3HT core in the fiberlike micelles was confirmed by a combination of UV/Vis spectroscopy, photoluminescence (PL) measurements, and wide-angle X-ray scattering (WAXS). Intense sonication (iPrOH, 1h, 0 degrees C) of the fiberlike micelles formed by P3HT23-b-P2VP115 resulted in small (ca. 25nm long) stublike fragments that were subsequently used as initiators in seeded growth experiments. Addition of P3HT23-b-P2VP115 unimers to the seeds allowed the preparation of fiberlike micelles with narrow length distributions (Lw/Ln

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)9186-9197
Number of pages12
JournalChemistry - A European Journal
Volume19
Issue number28
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 8 Jul 2013

Structured keywords

  • BCS and TECS CDTs

Keywords

  • block copolymers
  • micelles
  • nanowires
  • self-assembly
  • CHAIN-GROWTH POLYMERIZATION
  • CYLINDRICAL MICELLES
  • DIBLOCK COPOLYMERS
  • POLYETHYLENE CORES
  • CONTROLLED LENGTH
  • MOLECULAR-WEIGHT
  • FACILE SYNTHESIS
  • MORPHOLOGIES
  • POLY(3-HEXYLTHIOPHENE)
  • MICELLIZATION

Cite this