Explosive dissolution and trapping of block copolymer seed crystallites

Gerald Guerin*, Paul Rupar, Ian Manners, Mitchell Winnik

*Corresponding author for this work

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

21 Citations (Scopus)
254 Downloads (Pure)


Enhanced control over crystallization-driven self-assembly (CDSA) of coil-crystalline block copolymers has led to the formation of intricate structures with well-defined morphology and dimensions. While approaches to build those sophisticated structures may strongly differ from each other, they all share a key cornerstone: a polymer crystallite. Here we report a trapping technique that enables tracking of the change in length of one-dimensional (1D) polymer crystallites as they are annealed in solution at different temperatures. Using the similarities between 1D polymeric micelles and bottle-brush polymers, we developed a model explaining how the dissolving crystallites reach a critical size independent of the annealing temperature, and then explode in a cooperative process involving the remaining polymer chains of the crystallites. This model also allows us to demonstrate the role of the distribution in seed core crystallinity on the dissolution of the crystallites.

Original languageEnglish
Article number1158
Number of pages8
JournalNature Communications
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 20 Mar 2018

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