Scalable and uniform 1D nanoparticles by synchronous polymerisation, crystallisation, and self-assembly

Charlotte Boott, Jessica Gwyther, Robert Harniman, Dominic Hayward, Ian Manners

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

90 Citations (Scopus)
444 Downloads (Pure)

Abstract

The preparation of well-defined nanoparticles based on soft matter using solution-processing techniques on a commercially viable scale is a major challenge of widespread importance. Self-assembly of block copolymers in solvents that selectively solvate one of the segments provides a promising route to core-corona nanoparticles (micelles) with a wide range of potential uses. Nevertheless, significant limitations to this approach also exist. For example, the solution processing of block copolymers generally follows a separate synthesis step and is normally performed at high dilution. Moreover, non-spherical micelles, which are promising for many applications, are generally difficult to access, samples are polydisperse, and precise dimensional control is not possible. Herein we demonstrate the formation of platelet and cylindrical micelles at concentrations up to 25% solids via a one-pot approach starting from monomers that combines polymerisation-induced and crystallisation-driven self-assembly. We also show that performing the procedure in the presence of small seed micelles allows the scalable formation of low dispersity samples of cylindrical micelles of controlled length up to 3 microns.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)785-792
Number of pages8
JournalNature Chemistry
Volume9
Early online date13 Feb 2017
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Aug 2017

Structured keywords

  • BCS and TECS CDTs

Keywords

  • Nanoparticles
  • Polymers
  • Self-assembly
  • Synthesis and processing

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