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Sample records for diblock copolymer self-assembly

  1. Self-Assembly of Globular Protein-Polymer Diblock Copolymers

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Thomas, C. S.; Olsen, B. D.

    2011-03-01

    The self-assembly of globular protein-polymer diblock copolymers into nanostructured phases is demonstrated as an elegant and simple method for structural control in biocatalysis or bioelectronics. In order to fundamentally investigate self-assembly in these complex block copolymer systems, a red fluorescent protein was expressed in E. coli and site-specifically conjugated to a low polydispersity poly(N-isopropyl acrylamide) (PNIPAM) block using thiol-maleimide coupling to form a well-defined model globular protein-polymer diblock. Functional protein materials are obtained by solvent evaporation and solvent annealing above and below the lower critical solution temperature of PNIPAM in order to access different pathways toward self-assembly. Small angle x-ray scattering and microscopy are used to show that the diblock forms lamellar nanostructures and to explore dependence of nanostructure formation on processing conditions. Circular dichroism and UV-vis show that a large fraction of the protein remains in its folded state after conjugation, and wide angle x-ray scattering demonstrates that diblock copolymer self-assembly changes the protein packing symmetry.

  2. Self-assembly of cyclic rod-coil diblock copolymers.

    PubMed

    He, Linli; Chen, Zenglei; Zhang, Ruifen; Zhang, Linxi; Jiang, Zhouting

    2013-03-01

    The phase behavior of cyclic rod-coil diblock copolymer melts is investigated by the dissipative particle dynamics simulation. In order to understand the effect of chain topological architecture better, we also study the linear rod-coil system. The comparison of the calculated phase diagrams between the two rod-coil copolymers reveals that the order-disorder transition point (χN)ODT for cyclic rod-coil diblock copolymers is always higher than that of equivalent linear rod-coil diblocks. In addition, the phase diagram for cyclic system is more "symmetrical," due to the topological constraint. Moreover, there are significant differences in the self-assembled overall morphologies and the local molecular arrangements. For example, frod = 0.5, both lamellar structures are formed while rod packing is different greatly in cyclic and linear cases. The lamellae with rods arranged coplanarly into bilayers occurs in cyclic rod-coil diblocks, while the lamellar structure with rods arranged end by end into interdigitated bilayers appears in linear counterpart. In both the lamellar phases, the domain size ratio of cyclic to linear diblocks is ranged from 0.63 to 0.70. This is attributed to that the cyclic architecture with the additional junction increases the contacts between incompatible blocks and prevents the coil chains from expanding as much as the linear cases. As frod = 0.7, the hexagonally packed cylinder is observed for cyclic rod-coil diblocks, while liquid-crystalline smectic A lamellar phase is formed in linear system. As a result, the cyclization of a linear rod-coil block copolymer can induce remarkable differences in the self-assembly behavior and also diversify its physical properties and applications greatly. PMID:23485326

  3. Supramolecular self-assembly of conjugated diblock copolymers.

    PubMed

    Wang, Hengbin; You, Wei; Jiang, Ping; Yu, Luping; Wang, H Hau

    2004-02-20

    This paper describes the synthesis and characterization of a novel series of copolymers with different lengths of oligo(phenylene vinylene) (OPV) as the rod block, and poly(propylene oxide) as the coil block. Detailed characterization by means of transmission electron microscopy (TEM), atomic force microscopy (AFM), and small-angle neutron scattering (SANS) revealed the strong tendency of these copolymers to self-assemble into cylindrical micelles in solution and as-casted films on a nanometer scale. These micelles have a cylindrical OPV core surrounded by a poly(propylene glycol) (PPG) corona and readily align with each other to form parallel packed structures when mica is used as the substrate. A packing model has been proposed for these cylindrical micelles. PMID:14978825

  4. Supramolecular self-assembly of conjugated diblock copolymers.

    SciTech Connect

    Wang, H.; You, W.; Jiang, P.; Yu, L.; Wang, H. H.; Univ. of Chicago

    2004-02-20

    This paper describes the synthesis and characterization of a novel series of copolymers with different lengths of oligo(phenylene vinylene) (OPV) as the rod block, and poly(propylene oxide) as the coil block. Detailed characterization by means of transmission electron microscopy (TEM), atomic force microscopy (AFM), and small-angle neutron scattering (SANS) revealed the strong tendency of these copolymers to self-assemble into cylindrical micelles in solution and as-casted films on a nanometer scale. These micelles have a cylindrical OPV core surrounded by a poly(propylene glycol) (PPG) corona and readily align with each other to form parallel packed structures when mica is used as the substrate. A packing model has been proposed for these cylindrical micelles.

  5. Non-equilibrium self-assembly of metals on diblock copolymer templates

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lopes, Ward Antone

    Typically, the most perfectly ordered, self-assembled structures correspond to equilibrium states of the system. Here, I show that a high degree of order can arise out of strongly non-equilibrium conditions. I report on a systematic study of non-equilibrium aspects of the decoration of diblock copolymer ultrathin films by evaporated metals. I observe two distinct behaviors for selectively decorating the diblock copolymer: either the metal decorates the diblock copolymer template with nanoparticles or the metal decorates the template with nanowires. Remarkably, these nanowires remain stable under non-equilibrium conditions. I focus on results obtained with evaporated gold and silver on asymmetric polystyrene-b-polymethylmethacrylate (PS-b-PMMA). Gold and a number of other metals (indium, tin, lead, bismuth, aluminum) decorate the diblock copolymer with chains of nanoparticles and don't form wires. Silver forms chains of nanoparticles at low coverage (<30 A), but at high coverage (>100 A), silver forms nanowires. One can understand the formation of the chains of nanoparticles by understanding the equilibrium state of the system (metal + polymer). The silver nanowires, however, are highly non-equilibrium structures. To understand their formation, I modeled the self-assembly of the nanowires with a Monte Carlo simulation. This Monte Carlo simulation qualitatively agrees with the formation of the silver nanowires and their relaxation to equilibrium upon moderate heating.

  6. Processing-Dependent Self-Assembly of Protein-Polymer Diblock Copolymers

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Thomas, C. S.; Xu, L.; Olsen, B. D.

    2012-02-01

    Self-assembly of globular protein-polymer diblock copolymers is a novel method for nanopatterning protein-based materials which maintains a high fraction of protein activity as well as the folded protein structure. By subjecting these copolymers to different processing conditions, long range ordering and the fraction of active protein can be controlled. Here, self-assembly of model mCherry-b-poly(N-isopropyl acrylamide) (PNIPAM) block copolymers is induced by water evaporation from dilute aqueous solutions of conjugate material, and followed by solvent annealing of the resulting nanostructures. Different pathways towards self-assembly are accessed by orthogonally manipulating the solvent quality for each block of the copolymer using temperature and pH. Small-angle scattering and transmission electron microscopy show nanostructure depends heavily on PNIPAM coil fraction and solvent annealing condition, with solution self-assembly reflected in the solid state structure under certain conditions. Protein structure is unaffected by the processing pathway, while protein activity levels in the nanodomains depend strongly on processing conditions and can retain up to 80% of the initial activity.

  7. Self-assembled diblock copolymer thin films for the analysis of bacteria-surface interactions

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Li, Shuyan; Komaromy, Andras; Boysen, Reinhard I.; Nicolau, Dan V.; Hearn, Milton T. W.

    2008-12-01

    Self-assembling polymers have recently attracted significant scientific interest, since they spontaneously generate highly ordered structures with high resolution precision, and provide simple, parallel, and cost-effective processes for nanofabrication. Such systems can be achieved with block copolymers which, when produced as thin films, offer great potential as lithographic templates for the fabrication of photonic band-gap materials, ultrahigh-density nanodots or nanowire arrays, memory and capacitor devices, and nano-patterned substrates for biosensors. Although self-assembling block copolymers can form a variety of surface topographies at the nm scale, like spheres, cylinders, and lamellae, their structural steering through the annealing conditions has in many cases not been fully investigated. In the present investigation optimum production conditions for the preparation of nanostructures from poly(styrene)-block-poly(MMA) diblock copolymers have been established to enable the production of surfaces as thin films (<40 nm) on spin-coated silicon wafers either with parallel cylindrical structures or with vertical cylinders. The resulting self-assembling structures were then evaluated by atomic force microscopy. The obtained nanostructured polymers were then incubated with two microbial species, the gram negative E. coli and the gram positive S. aureus to assess their behaviour. The patterns of the thin film surfaces affected the bacterial attachment. Such self assembly processes can be used to create surfaces acting as bacterial attractants or repellents.

  8. Directed Diblock Copolymer Self-Assembly Using Engineered Topologies To Drive Defect Motion.

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ruiz, Ricardo; Black, Charles; Sandstrom, Robert

    2006-03-01

    Self-organizing materials hold great promise for delineating the critical nanometer-scale elements of future integrated circuits. While self assembly provides a pathway to defining sub-lithographic dimensions, its Achilles’ heel lies in minimizing defects. Unlike lithographic processes, self assembly involves optimization of thermodynamic free energy, which can require prohibitively long equilibration times and may never reach pattern perfection. We have begun to address this intrinsic limitation by engineering surfaces to influence the assembly process. In this way we eliminate defects in the critical device areas, while driving unavoidable imperfections to predefined, non-crucial regions. We discuss this approach within the context of lamellar-phase poly(styrene-b-methylmethacrylate) diblock copolymer films, which possess excellent material characteristics for use as lithographic templates. Understanding the dynamics of pattern formation in these materials is crucial to optimizing their performance. We use correlation length measurements of lamellar diblock copolymer domains to extract information about mechanisms of defect annihilation. We also quantify the quality of these self-assembled materials within a framework of resist performance metrics, including resist profile, line-edge roughness, and etch characteristics.

  9. Polymerization-Induced Self-Assembly of Galactose-Functionalized Biocompatible Diblock Copolymers for Intracellular Delivery

    PubMed Central

    2013-01-01

    Recent advances in polymer science are enabling substantial progress in nanobiotechnology, particularly in the design of new tools for enhanced understanding of cell biology and for smart drug delivery formulations. Herein, a range of novel galactosylated diblock copolymer nano-objects is prepared directly in concentrated aqueous solution via reversible addition–fragmentation chain transfer polymerization using polymerization-induced self-assembly. The resulting nanospheres, worm-like micelles, or vesicles interact in vitro with galectins as judged by a turbidity assay. In addition, galactosylated vesicles are highly biocompatible and allow intracellular delivery of an encapsulated molecular cargo. PMID:23941545

  10. Polymerization-induced self-assembly of galactose-functionalized biocompatible diblock copolymers for intracellular delivery.

    PubMed

    Ladmiral, Vincent; Semsarilar, Mona; Canton, Irene; Armes, Steven P

    2013-09-11

    Recent advances in polymer science are enabling substantial progress in nanobiotechnology, particularly in the design of new tools for enhanced understanding of cell biology and for smart drug delivery formulations. Herein, a range of novel galactosylated diblock copolymer nano-objects is prepared directly in concentrated aqueous solution via reversible addition-fragmentation chain transfer polymerization using polymerization-induced self-assembly. The resulting nanospheres, worm-like micelles, or vesicles interact in vitro with galectins as judged by a turbidity assay. In addition, galactosylated vesicles are highly biocompatible and allow intracellular delivery of an encapsulated molecular cargo. PMID:23941545

  11. Controlled hydrophobic functionalization of natural fibers through self-assembly of amphiphilic diblock copolymer micelles.

    PubMed

    Aarne, Niko; Laine, Janne; Hänninen, Tuomas; Rantanen, Ville; Seitsonen, Jani; Ruokolainen, Janne; Kontturi, Eero

    2013-07-01

    The functionalization of natural fibers is an important task that has recently received considerable attention. We investigated the formation of a hydrophobic layer from amphiphilic diblock copolymer micelles [polystyrene-block-poly(N-methyl-4-vinyl pyridinium iodide)] on natural fibers and on a model surface (mica). A series of micelles were prepared. The micelles were characterized by using cryoscopic TEM and light scattering, and their hydrophobization capability was studied through contact angle measurements, water adsorption, and Raman imaging. Mild heat treatment (130 °C) was used to increase the hydrophobization capability of the micelles. The results showed that the micelles could not hydrophobize a model surface, but could render the natural fibers water repellent both with and without heat treatment. This effect was systematically studied by varying the composition of the constituent blocks. The results showed that the micelle size (and the molecular weight of the constituent diblock copolymers) was the most important parameter, whereas the cationic (hydrophilic) part played only a minor role. We hypothesized that the hydrophobization effect could be attributed to a combination of the micelle size and the shrinkage of the natural fibers upon drying. The shrinking caused the roughness to increase on the fiber surface, which resulted in a rearrangement of the self- assembled layer in the wet state. Consequently, the fibers became hydrophobic through the roughness effects at multiple length scales. Mild heat treatment melted the micelle core and decreased the minimum size necessary for hydrophobization. PMID:23687082

  12. Phase Change Nanodot Arrays Fabricated Using a Self-Assembly Diblock Copolymer Approach

    SciTech Connect

    Zhang,Y.; Wong, H.; Raoux, S.; Cha, J.; Rettner, C.; Krupp, L.; Topuria, T.; Milliron, D.; Rice, P.; Jordan-Sweet, J.

    2007-01-01

    Self-assembling diblock copolymer, polystyrene-b-poly-4-vinylpyridine (PS-b-P4VP), was used as the template for fabricating phase change nanostructures. The high density GeSb nanodots were formed by etching into an amorphous GeSb thin film using silica hard mask which was patterned on top of polymer. The nanodot arrays are 15 nm in diameter with 30 nm spacing. This is smaller than most structures obtained by e-beam lithography. Time-resolved x-ray diffraction studies showed that the phase transition occurred at 235 {sup o}C, which is 5 {sup o}C lower than blanket GeSb film but higher than that of Ge{sub 2}Sb{sub 2}Te{sub 5} (150 {sup o}C). GeSb showed good temperature stability for fabrication of small memory devices.

  13. Nanopatterning of diblock copolymer directed self-assembly lithography with wet development

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Muramatsu, Makoto; Iwashita, Mitsuaki; Kitano, Takahiro; Toshima, Takayuki; Somervell, Mark; Seino, Yuriko; Kawamura, Daisuke; Kanno, Masahiro; Kobayashi, Katsutoshi; Azuma, Tsukasa

    2012-07-01

    A method for using wet development in a directed self-assembly lithography (DSAL) application is reported. For the typical diblock copolymer poly(styrene-block-methyl methacrylate) (PS-b-PMMA), the PMMA area is removed by an oxygen plasma. However, the oxygen plasma has poor selectivity for the PS portion of the block polymer and etches it simultaneously. As a result, the thickness of the residual PS pattern is thinner than desired and creates a challenge for subsequent pattern transfer. A wet development technique is discussed which offers higher selectivity between the PMMA and PS blocks in the assembled pattern. Specifically, a method using a low pressure mercury lamp and conventional tetramethylammonium hydroxide (TMAH, 2.38%) developer is proposed. Using this method, DSA pattern formation is completed in a single track having coating, baking, exposure, and development modules.

  14. Nanopatterning of diblock copolymer directed self-assembly lithography with wet development

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Muramatsu, Makoto; Iwashita, Mitsuaki; Kitano, Takahiro; Toshima, Takayuki; Seino, Yuriko; Kawamura, Daisuke; Kanno, Masahiro; Kobayashi, Katsutoshi; Azuma, Tsukasa

    2011-04-01

    We report wet development technique for directed self-assembly lithography pattern. For typical diblock copolymer, poly (styrene-block-methyl methacrylate) (PS-b-PMMA), the PMMA area is removed by O2 plasma. However, O2 plasma attack also etches off PS area simultaneously. As a result, the thickness of residual PS pattern is thinner and it causes degradation of PS mask performance. PS thickness loss in the device integration is not desirable as etching mask role. In this work, we applied wet development technique which could be higher selectivity to keep PS film thickness after pattern formation. Especially, we propose the method using low pressure mercury lamp and conventional TMAH (2.38%) as developer. It is expected to accomplish pattern formation in one track with coating, baking, exposure and development.

  15. The impact of substrate interaction in directed self-assembly of symmetric diblock copolymer thin films

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Seidel, Robert

    Block copolymers (BCP) are a class of materials that have attracted significant attention due to their ability to self-assemble into dense arrays of nanoscale features. These materials are being investigated for their use in applications such as nanolithography, but for commercial implementation require the ability to control or direct the self-assembly process. Chemoepitaxial directed self-assembly (DSA) is one avenue to achieving this control, where a BCP thin film self-assembles in the presence of precisely defined chemical boundary conditions. In such a process, the equilibrium structure of the BCP film and the kinetic pathways it evolves along to reach equilibrium are both a function of the thermodynamic landscape, which is in turn controlled by the chemical pattern. This thesis contributes to the significant body of work attempting to detail the relationship between chemical pattern parameters and the thermodynamics of assembly (both kinetic and equilibrium). We restrict our investigation to the assembly of lamellae-forming diblock copolymers on line/space chemical patterns that employ density multiplication, with a focus on developing technology for nanopatterning beyond the resolution limit of traditional lithography. In the first chapter we introduce the fundamental ideas of BCP DSA and develop the concepts of free energy balance that are crucial to framing the discussion in the following chapters. The second chapter explores using poly(methyl methacrylate) as a guide material and shows how the greater strength of guiding interaction for this system has the ability to guide complex, frustrated non-bulk morphologies. The third chapter develops a novel concept of using process conditions to generate so-called 'three-tone' chemical patterns with multiple guiding regions per patterned stripe. The fourth chapter looks at how guide stripe strength impacts and affects assembly kinetics, equilibrium structure, and process metrics such as line edge roughness (LER

  16. Self-assembly of lamella-forming diblock copolymers confined in nanochannels: Effect of confinement geometry

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Yu, Bin; Deng, Jian-Hua; Wang, Zheng; Li, Bao-Hui; Shi, An-Chang

    2015-04-01

    The self-assembly of symmetric diblock copolymers confined in the channels of variously shaped cross sections (regular triangles, squares, and ellipses) is investigated using a simulated annealing technique. In the bulk, the studied symmetric diblock copolymers form a lamellar structure with period LL. The geometry and surface property of the confining channels have a large effect on the self-assembled structures and the orientation of the lamellar structures. Stacked perpendicular lamellae with period LL are observed for neutral surfaces regardless of the channel shape and size, but each lamella is in the shape of the corresponding channel's cross section. In the case of triangle-shaped cross sections, stacked parallel lamellae are the majority morphologies for weakly selective surfaces, while morphologies including a triangular-prism-shaped B-cylinder and multiple tridentate lamellae are obtained for strongly selective surfaces. In the cases of square-shaped and ellipse-shaped cross sections, concentric lamellae are the signature morphology for strongly selective surfaces, whereas for weakly selective surfaces, stacked parallel lamellae, and several types of folding lamellae are obtained in the case of square-shaped cross sections, and stacked parallel lamellae are the majority morphologies in the case of ellipse-shaped cross sections when the length of the minor axis is commensurate with the bulk lamellar period. The mean-square end-to-end distance, the average contact number between different species and the surface concentration of the A-monomers are computed to elucidate the mechanisms of the formation of the different morphologies. It is found that the resulting morphology is a consequence of competition among the chain stretching, interfacial energy, and surface energy. Our results suggest that the self-assembled morphology and the orientation of lamellae can be manipulated by the shape, the size, and the surface property of the confining channels. Project

  17. Highly Flexible Self-Assembled V2O5 Cathodes Enabled by Conducting Diblock Copolymers.

    PubMed

    An, Hyosung; Mike, Jared; Smith, Kendall A; Swank, Lisa; Lin, Yen-Hao; L Pesek, Stacy; Verduzco, Rafael; Lutkenhaus, Jodie L

    2015-01-01

    Mechanically robust battery electrodes are desired for applications in wearable devices, flexible displays, and structural energy and power. In this regard, the challenge is to balance mechanical and electrochemical properties in materials that are inherently brittle. Here, we demonstrate a unique water-based self-assembly approach that incorporates a diblock copolymer bearing electron- and ion-conducting blocks, poly(3-hexylthiophene)-block-poly(ethyleneoxide) (P3HT-b-PEO), with V2O5 to form a flexible, tough, carbon-free hybrid battery cathode. V2O5 is a promising lithium intercalation material, but it remains limited by its poor conductivity and mechanical properties. Our approach leads to a unique electrode structure consisting of interlocking V2O5 layers glued together with micellar aggregates of P3HT-b-PEO, which results in robust mechanical properties, far exceeding the those obtained from conventional fluoropolymer binders. Only 5 wt % polymer is required to triple the flexibility of V2O5, and electrodes comprised of 10 wt % polymer have unusually high toughness (293 kJ/m(3)) and specific energy (530 Wh/kg), both higher than reduced graphene oxide paper electrodes. Furthermore, addition of P3HT-b-PEO enhances lithium-ion diffusion, eliminates cracking during cycling, and boosts cyclability relative to V2O5 alone. These results highlight the importance of tradeoffs between mechanical and electrochemical performance, where polymer content can be used to tune both aspects. PMID:26391053

  18. Highly Flexible Self-Assembled V2O5 Cathodes Enabled by Conducting Diblock Copolymers

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    An, Hyosung; Mike, Jared; Smith, Kendall A.; Swank, Lisa; Lin, Yen-Hao; L. Pesek, Stacy; Verduzco, Rafael; Lutkenhaus, Jodie L.

    2015-09-01

    Mechanically robust battery electrodes are desired for applications in wearable devices, flexible displays, and structural energy and power. In this regard, the challenge is to balance mechanical and electrochemical properties in materials that are inherently brittle. Here, we demonstrate a unique water-based self-assembly approach that incorporates a diblock copolymer bearing electron- and ion-conducting blocks, poly(3-hexylthiophene)-block-poly(ethyleneoxide) (P3HT-b-PEO), with V2O5 to form a flexible, tough, carbon-free hybrid battery cathode. V2O5 is a promising lithium intercalation material, but it remains limited by its poor conductivity and mechanical properties. Our approach leads to a unique electrode structure consisting of interlocking V2O5 layers glued together with micellar aggregates of P3HT-b-PEO, which results in robust mechanical properties, far exceeding the those obtained from conventional fluoropolymer binders. Only 5 wt % polymer is required to triple the flexibility of V2O5, and electrodes comprised of 10 wt % polymer have unusually high toughness (293 kJ/m3) and specific energy (530 Wh/kg), both higher than reduced graphene oxide paper electrodes. Furthermore, addition of P3HT-b-PEO enhances lithium-ion diffusion, eliminates cracking during cycling, and boosts cyclability relative to V2O5 alone. These results highlight the importance of tradeoffs between mechanical and electrochemical performance, where polymer content can be used to tune both aspects.

  19. Self-assembly of diblock copolymer-maghemite nanoparticle hybrid thin films.

    PubMed

    Yao, Yuan; Metwalli, Ezzeldin; Moulin, Jean-François; Su, Bo; Opel, Matthias; Müller-Buschbaum, Peter

    2014-10-22

    The arrangement of maghemite (γ-Fe2O3) nanoparticles (NPs) in poly(styrene-d8-block-n-butyl methacrylate) P(Sd-b-BMA) diblock copolymer (DBC) films via a self-assembly process was investigated toward the fabrication of highly ordered maghemite-polymer hybrid thin films. The resulting thin films exhibited a perforated lamella with an enrichment layer containing NPs as investigated with X-ray reflectometry, scanning electron microscopy, atomic force microscopy, and time-of-flight grazing incidence small angle neutron scattering as a function of the NP concentrations. The NPs were selectively deposited in the PSd domains of the DBC during the microphase separation process. At low NP concentrations, the incorporation of the NPs within the DBC thin films resulted in an enhanced microphase separation process and formation of highly oriented and ordered nanostructured hybrid films. At higher NP concentrations, the aggregation of the NPs was dominating and large sized metal oxide clusters were observed. The superparamagnetic properties of the metal oxide-polymer hybrid films at various NP concentrations were probed by a superconducting quantum interference device magnetometer, which shows that the hybrid films are highly attractive for optical devices, magnetic sensors, and magnetic recording devices. PMID:25243575

  20. Solid-State Nanostructured Materials from Self-Assembly of a Globular Protein-Polymer Diblock Copolymer

    PubMed Central

    Thomas, Carla S.; Glassman, Matthew J.; Olsen, Bradley D.

    2014-01-01

    Self-assembly of three-dimensional solid-state nanostructures containing approximately 33% by weight globular protein is demonstrated using a globular protein-polymer diblock copolymer, providing a route to direct nanopatterning of proteins for use in bioelectronic and biocatalytic materials. A mutant red fluorescent protein, mCherryS131C, was prepared by incorporation of a unique cysteine residue and site-specifically conjugated to end-functionalized poly(N-isopropylacrylamide) through thiol-maleimide coupling to form a well-defined model protein-polymer block copolymer. The block copolymer was self-assembled into bulk nanostructures by solvent evaporation from concentrated solutions. Small-angle X-ray scattering and transmission electron microscopy illustrated the formation of highly disordered lamellae or hexagonally perforated lamellae depending upon the selectivity of the solvent during evaporation. Solvent annealing of bulk samples resulted in a transition towards lamellar nanostructures with mCherry packed in a bilayer configuration and a large improvement in long range ordering. Wide-angle X-ray scattering indicated that mCherry did not crystallize within the block copolymer nanodomains and that the β-sheet spacing was not affected by self-assembly. Circular dichroism showed no change in protein secondary structure after self-assembly, while UV-vis spectroscopy indicated approximately 35% of the chromophore remained optically active. PMID:21696135

  1. Probing the Effect of Molecular Nonuniformity in Directed Self-Assembly of Diblock Copolymers in Nanoconfined Space.

    PubMed

    Pitet, Louis M; Alexander-Moonen, Els; Peeters, Emiel; Druzhinina, Tamara S; Wuister, Sander F; Lynd, Nathaniel A; Meijer, E W

    2015-10-27

    Various complex self-assembled morphologies of lamellar- and cylinder-forming block copolymers comprising poly(dimethylsiloxane)-b-polylactide (PDMS-b-PLA) confined in cylindrical channels were generated. Combining top-down lithography with bottom-up block copolymer self-assembly grants access to morphologies that are otherwise inaccessible with the bulk materials. Channel diameter (D) was systematically varied with four diblock copolymers having different compositions and bulk domain spacing (L0), corresponding to a range of frustration ratios (D/L0 from 2 to 4). Excessive packing frustration imposed by the channels leads to contorted domains. The resulting morphologies depend strongly on both D/L0 and copolymer composition. Under several circumstances, mixtures of complex morphologies were observed, which hypothetically arise from the severe sensitivity to D/L0 combined with the inherent compositional/molar mass dispersities associated with the nonuniform synthetic materials and silicon templates. Stochastic calculations offer compelling support for the hypothesis, and tractable pathways toward solving this apparent conundrum are proposed. The materials hold great promise for next-generation nanofabrication to address several emerging technologies, offering significantly enhanced versatility to basic diblock copolymers as templates for fabricating complex nanoscale objects. PMID:26503195

  2. Highly Flexible Self-Assembled V2O5 Cathodes Enabled by Conducting Diblock Copolymers

    PubMed Central

    An, Hyosung; Mike, Jared; Smith, Kendall A.; Swank, Lisa; Lin, Yen-Hao; L. Pesek, Stacy; Verduzco, Rafael; Lutkenhaus, Jodie L.

    2015-01-01

    Mechanically robust battery electrodes are desired for applications in wearable devices, flexible displays, and structural energy and power. In this regard, the challenge is to balance mechanical and electrochemical properties in materials that are inherently brittle. Here, we demonstrate a unique water-based self-assembly approach that incorporates a diblock copolymer bearing electron- and ion-conducting blocks, poly(3-hexylthiophene)-block-poly(ethyleneoxide) (P3HT-b-PEO), with V2O5 to form a flexible, tough, carbon-free hybrid battery cathode. V2O5 is a promising lithium intercalation material, but it remains limited by its poor conductivity and mechanical properties. Our approach leads to a unique electrode structure consisting of interlocking V2O5 layers glued together with micellar aggregates of P3HT-b-PEO, which results in robust mechanical properties, far exceeding the those obtained from conventional fluoropolymer binders. Only 5 wt % polymer is required to triple the flexibility of V2O5, and electrodes comprised of 10 wt % polymer have unusually high toughness (293 kJ/m3) and specific energy (530 Wh/kg), both higher than reduced graphene oxide paper electrodes. Furthermore, addition of P3HT-b-PEO enhances lithium-ion diffusion, eliminates cracking during cycling, and boosts cyclability relative to V2O5 alone. These results highlight the importance of tradeoffs between mechanical and electrochemical performance, where polymer content can be used to tune both aspects. PMID:26391053

  3. Highly Flexible Self-Assembled V2O5 Cathodes Enabled by Conducting Diblock Copolymers

    DOE PAGESBeta

    An, Hyosung; Mike, Jared; Smith, Kendall A.; Swank, Lisa; Lin, Yen-Hao; L. Pesek, Stacy; Verduzco, Rafael; Lutkenhaus, Jodie L.

    2015-09-22

    Mechanically robust battery electrodes are desired for applications in wearable devices, flexible displays, and structural energy and power. In this regard, the challenge is to balance mechanical and electrochemical properties in materials that are inherently brittle. Here, we demonstrate a unique water-based self-assembly approach that incorporates a diblock copolymer bearing electron- and ion-conducting blocks, poly(3-hexylthiophene)-block-poly(ethyleneoxide) (P3HT-b-PEO), with V2O5 to form a flexible, tough, carbon-free hybrid battery cathode. V2O5 is a promising lithium intercalation material, but it remains limited by its poor conductivity and mechanical properties. Our approach leads to a unique electrode structure consisting of interlocking V2O5 layers glued togethermore » with micellar aggregates of P3HT-b-PEO, which results in robust mechanical properties, far exceeding the those obtained from conventional fluoropolymer binders. Only 5 wt % polymer is required to triple the flexibility of V2O5, and electrodes comprised of 10 wt % polymer have unusually high toughness (293 kJ/m3) and specific energy (530 Wh/kg), both higher than reduced graphene oxide paper electrodes. Furthermore, addition of P3HT-b-PEO enhances lithium-ion diffusion, eliminates cracking during cycling, and boosts cyclability relative to V2O5 alone. These results highlight the importance of tradeoffs between mechanical and electrochemical performance, where polymer content can be used to tune both aspects.« less

  4. Self-Assembly of Novel Amphiphilic 21-Arm, Star-Like Coil-Rod Diblock Copolymers at Interfaces

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lin, Zhiqun; Zhao, Lei; Pang, Xinchang; Feng, Chaowei

    2012-02-01

    A series of novel amphiphilic 21-arm, star-like diblock copolymers, poly(acrylic acid)-b-poly(3-hexylthiophene) (PAA-b-P3HT) based on β-cyclodextrin (β-CD) with well defined molecular architectures and ratio of two chemically distinct blocks were prepared, for the first time, via a combination of quasi-living Grignard metathesis method (GRIM), click reaction, and atom transfer radical polymerization (ATRP). The star-like PAA-b-P3HT diblock copolymers consist of hydrophilic coil-like PAA cores and hydrophobic rod-like P3HT shells with narrow molecular weight distribution and controllable molecular weight of each block. Owing to the compact structure, the amphiphilic star-like PAA-b-P3HT formed a unimolecular micelle. Vesicles based on these novel amphiphilic star-like, coil-rod diblock copolymers were readily produced at the oil/water interface by crosslinking hydrophilic coil-like PAA cores with a bifunctional crosslinker, ethylenediamine. They also self-assembled into a nanotubular structure at the air/water interface.

  5. Self-assembly of diblock copolymer confined in an array-structure space

    SciTech Connect

    He, Xuehao E-mail: hjliang@ustc.edu.cn; Zou, Zhixiang; Kan, Di; Liang, Haojun E-mail: hjliang@ustc.edu.cn

    2015-03-14

    The combination of top-down and bottom-up technologies is an effective method to create the novel nanostructures with long range order in the field of advanced materials manufacture. In this work, we employed a polymeric self-consistent field theory to investigate the pattern formation of diblock copolymer in a 2D confinement system designed by filling pillar arrays with various 2D shapes such as squares, rectangles, and triangles. Our simulation shows that in such confinement system, the microphase structure of diblock copolymer strongly depends on the pitch, shape, size, and rotation of the pillar as well as the surface field of confinement. The array structures can not only induce the formation of new phase patterns but also control the location and orientation of pattern structures. Finally, several methods to tune the commensuration and frustration of array-structure confinement are proposed and examined.

  6. Molecular dynamics simulation of electric-field-induced self-assembly of diblock copolymers

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zhang, Qiuzhi; Xu, Rui; Kan, Di; He, Xuehao

    2016-06-01

    The self-assembly of block copolymers under an external electric field was studied with a coarse-grained polarizable model that hybridizes the conventional polymeric coarse-grained model and Drude oscillator. The polarizability of the coarse-grained polymeric segment was reflected by the Drude oscillator. Applying this model, the alignment of the lamellar phase of the block copolymer melt under an external electric field was observed and the dynamic coupling information between chain polarization and interface orientation induced by the external electric field was obtained. It is demonstrated that the alignment of the lamellar structure along the electric field direction results from the polarizability difference of the polymer components. Finally, the transitions of phase structures of the block copolymer under an external electric field, from spherical phase to cylindrical phase, from gyroid structure to cylindrical phase, and from gyroid structure to lamellae phase were simulated. The specific evolution pathways were shown.

  7. Molecular dynamics simulation of electric-field-induced self-assembly of diblock copolymers.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Qiuzhi; Xu, Rui; Kan, Di; He, Xuehao

    2016-06-21

    The self-assembly of block copolymers under an external electric field was studied with a coarse-grained polarizable model that hybridizes the conventional polymeric coarse-grained model and Drude oscillator. The polarizability of the coarse-grained polymeric segment was reflected by the Drude oscillator. Applying this model, the alignment of the lamellar phase of the block copolymer melt under an external electric field was observed and the dynamic coupling information between chain polarization and interface orientation induced by the external electric field was obtained. It is demonstrated that the alignment of the lamellar structure along the electric field direction results from the polarizability difference of the polymer components. Finally, the transitions of phase structures of the block copolymer under an external electric field, from spherical phase to cylindrical phase, from gyroid structure to cylindrical phase, and from gyroid structure to lamellae phase were simulated. The specific evolution pathways were shown. PMID:27334188

  8. Synthesis and self-assembly of terpyridine end-capped poly(N-isopropylacrylamide)-block-poly(2-(dimethylamino)ethyl methacrylate) diblock copolymers.

    PubMed

    Brassinne, Jérémy; Poggi, Elio; Fustin, Charles-André; Gohy, Jean-François

    2015-04-01

    At the basis of smart self-assembled materials are lying small building blocks that can hierarchically assemble in response to stimuli, e.g., temperature or chemical species. In this context, the synthesis of terpyridine end-capped poly(2-(dimethylamino)ethyl methacrylate)-block-poly(N-isopropylacrylamide) diblock copolymers via controlled radical copolymerization is reported here. The self-assembly of those copolymers is investigated in dilute aqueous solutions while varying temperature or adding transition metal ions, respectively, leading to the formation of micellar nanostructures or metallosupramolecular triblock copolymers. PMID:25491079

  9. Self-assembly Morphology and Crystallinity Control of Di-block Copolymer Inspired by Spider Silk

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Huang, Wenwen; Krishnaji, Sreevidhya; Kaplan, David; Cebe, Peggy

    2012-02-01

    To obtain a fuller understanding of the origin of self-assembly behavior, and thus be able to control the morphology of biomaterials with well defined amino acid sequences for tissue regeneration and drug delivery, we created a family of synthetic silk-based block copolymers inspired by the genetic sequences found in spider dragline, HABn and HBAn (n=1,2,3,6), where B = hydrophilic block, A = hydrophobic block, and H is a histidine tag. We assessed the secondary structure of water cast films by Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (FTIR). The crystallinity was determined by Fourier self-deconvolution of amide I spectra and confirmed by wide angle X-ray diffraction (WAXD). Results indicate that we can control the self-assembled morphology and the crystallinity by varying the block length, and a minimum of 3 A-blocks are required to form beta sheet crystalline regions in water-cast spider silk block copolymers. The morphology and crystallinity can also be tuned by annealing. Thermal properties of water cast films and films annealed at 120 C were determined by differential scanning calorimetry and thermogravimetry. The sample films were also treated with 1,1,1,3,3,3-Hexafluoro-2-propanol (HFIP) to obtain wholly amorphous samples, and crystallized by exposure to methanol. Using scanning and transmission electron microscopies, we observe that fibrillar networks and hollow micelles are formed in water cast and methanol cast samples, but not in samples cast from HFIP.

  10. Impact of chain microstructure on solution and thin film self-assembly of PCHD-based semi-flexible/flexible diblock copolymers.

    PubMed

    Bornani, Kamlesh; Wang, Xu; Davis, Jesse L; Wang, Xiaojun; Wang, Weiyu; Hinestrosa, Juan Pablo; Mays, Jimmy W; Kilbey, S Michael

    2015-08-28

    Self-assembly of semi-flexible/flexible block copolymers in a selective solvent is examined using a set of diblock copolymers where the chain microstructure of the semi-flexible block is manipulated in order to tune chain stiffness. Conceptually, the reduced conformational space of the semi-flexible block is anticipated to alter the way the chains pack, potentially changing the structure of self-assembled aggregates in comparison to flexible diblock copolymer analogs. Semi-flexible/flexible diblock copolymers comprised of poly(styrene)-block-poly(1,3-cyclohexadiene) (PS-b-PCHD) having systematic changes in chain microstructure, as captured by the ratio of 1,4/1,2-linkages between cyclohexenyl repeat units, and molecular weight of the PCHD blocks were synthesized using anionic polymerization. These diblocks were dissolved in tetrahydrofuran (THF), which is a preferential solvent for PS, and the structures formed were examined using laser light scattering and complementary imaging techniques. Results show that PS-b-PCHD copolymers with a chain microstructure of 90% 1,4/10% 1,2 linkages between cyclohexenyl repeat units (referred to simply as 90/10) are able to micellize, forming spherical structures, while diblocks of 70/30 and 50/50 1,4-to-1,2 ratios remain as single chains and ill-defined aggregates, respectively, when dissolved in THF. With inferences drawn from simple structural models, we speculate that this self-assembly behavior arises due to the change in the chain configuration with increasing content of 1,2-links in the backbone. This renders the chain with higher 1,2 content incapable of swelling in response to solvent and unable to pack into well-defined self-assembled structures. PMID:26186404

  11. Dynamic Light-Scattering Study of Self-Assembly of Diblock Copolymers in Supercritical Carbon Dioxide

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Koga, Tadanori; Zhou, Shuiqin; Chu, Benjamin

    2001-08-01

    A high-pressure dynamic light-scattering (DLS) technique has been utilized to study the behavior in solution of poly(1,1-dihydroperfluorooctylacrylate) and poly(vinyl acetate) (PFOA-b-PVAC) in supercritical carbon dioxide. The hydrodynamic-radius distribution for each species, such as unimers, micelles, and large aggregates, were determined under both isobaric and isothermal conditions over a pressure range of 9 -55.2 MPa, and a temperature range of 25 -75 C, respectively. The DLS results clearly showed both pressure-induced and temperature-induced dissolution and association behavior for the copolymer in supercritical carbon dioxide. Also presented are some preliminary experimental results for the micellar self-assembly of a fluorinated block copolymer, poly(2-tetrahydropyranyl methacrylate)-b-poly(1h ,1h -perfluorooctyl methacrylate) (THPMA-b-F7MA), in supercritical carbon dioxide by use of a new high-pressure cell that allows us to conduct simultaneous small-angle x-ray scattering and DLS measurements.

  12. Highly Flexible Self-Assembled V2O5 Cathodes Enabled by Conducting Diblock Copolymers

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    An, Hyosung; Mike, Jared; Smith, Kendall; Swank, Lisa; Lin, Yen-Hao; Pesek, Stacy; Verduzco, Rafael; Lutkenhaus, Jodie

    Structural energy storage materials combining load-bearing mechanical properties and high energy storage performance are desired for applications in wearable devices or flexible displays. Vanadium pentoxide (V2O5) is a promising cathode material for possible use in flexible battery electrodes, but it remains limited by low Li+ diffusion coefficient and electronic conductivity, severe volumetric changes upon cycling, and limited mechanical flexibility. Here, we demonstrate a route to address these challenges by blending a diblock copolymer bearing electron- and ion-conducting blocks, poly(3-hexylthiophene)-block-poly(ethyleneoxide) (P3HT- b-PEO), with V2O5 to form a mechanically flexible, electro-mechanically stable hybrid electrode. V2O5 layers were arranged parallel in brick-and-mortar-like fashion held together by the P3HT- b-PEO binder. This unique structure significantly enhances mechanical flexibility, toughness and cyclability without sacrificing capacity. Electrodes comprised of 10 wt% polymer have unusually high toughness (293 kJ/m3) and specific energy (530 Wh/kg), both higher than reduced graphene oxide paper electrodes.

  13. Self-Assembly of Charged Amphiphilic Diblock Copolymers with Insoluble Blocks of Decreasing Hydrophobicity: From Kinetically Frozen Colloids to Macrosurfactants

    SciTech Connect

    M Jacquin; P Muller; H Cottet; O Theodoly

    2011-12-31

    We have investigated the self-assembly properties in aqueous solution of amphiphilic diblock copolymers with insoluble blocks of different hydrophobicity and demonstrated that the condition to obtain dynamic micelles is to design samples with insoluble blocks of low enough hydrophobicity. We focus here on results with new water-soluble amphiphilic diblock copolymers poly(diethyleneglycol ethylether acrylate)-b-poly(acrylic acid), or PDEGA-b-PAA. The physical characteristics of PDEGA-b-PAA micelles at high ionization have been determined by small angle neutron scattering (SANS). We show that PDEGA-b-PAA samples form micelles at thermodynamic equilibrium. The critical micelle concentrations (CMCs) decrease strongly with ionic strength and temperature due to a solvent quality decrease for, respectively, the corona and the core. This behavior of reversible aggregation is remarkable as compared to the behavior of kinetically frozen aggregation that has been widely observed with samples of similar architecture and different hydrophobic blocks, for example, poly(styrene)-b-poly(acrylic acid), PS-b-PAA, and poly(butyl acrylate)-b-poly(acrylic acid), PBA-b-PAA. We have measured the interfacial tension between water and the homopolymers PDEGA and PBA at, respectively, 3 and 20 mN/m at room temperature, which permits one to estimate the energy cost to extract a unimer from a micelle. The results are consistent with a micelle association that is fast for PDEGA-b-PAA and kinetically frozen PBA-b-PAA. Hence, PDEGA-b-PAA samples form a new system of synthetic charged macrosurfactant with unique properties of fast dynamic association, tunable charge, and water solubility even at temperatures and NaCl concentrations as high as 65 C and 1 M.

  14. Hydrogen bonding strength of diblock copolymers affects the self-assembled structures with octa-functionalized phenol POSS nanoparticles.

    PubMed

    Lu, Yi-Syuan; Yu, Chia-Yu; Lin, Yung-Chih; Kuo, Shiao-Wei

    2016-02-28

    In this study, the influence of the functional groups by the diblock copolymers of poly(styrene-b-4-vinylpyridine) (PS-b-P4VP), poly(styrene-b-2-vinylpyridine) (PS-b-P2VP), and poly(styrene-b-methyl methacrylate) (PS-b-PMMA) on their blends with octa-functionalized phenol polyhedral oligomeric silsesquioxane (OP-POSS) nanoparticles (NPs) was investigated. The relative hydrogen bonding strengths in these blends follow the order PS-b-P4VP/OP-POSS > PS-b-P2VP/OP-POSS > PS-b-PMMA/OP-POSS based on the Kwei equation from differential scanning calorimetry (DSC) and Fourier transform infrared spectroscopic analyses. Small-angle X-ray scattering and transmission electron microscopic analyses show that the morphologies of the self-assembly structures are strongly dependent on the hydrogen bonding strength at relatively higher OP-POSS content. The PS-b-P4VP/OP-POSS hybrid complex system with the strongest hydrogen bonds shows the order-order transition from lamellae to cylinders and finally to body-centered cubic spheres upon increasing OP-POSS content. However, PS-b-P2VP/OP-POSS and PS-b-PMMA/OP-POSS hybrid complex systems, having relatively weaker hydrogen bonds, transformed from lamellae to cylinder structures at lower OP-POSS content (<50 wt%), but formed disordered structures at relatively high OP-POSS contents (>50 wt%). PMID:26781581

  15. Directed self-assembly of diblock copolymers in multi-VIA configurations: effect of chemopatterned substrates on defectivity

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Carpenter, Corinne L.; Delaney, Kris T.; Fredrickson, Glenn H.

    2016-03-01

    Directed self-assembly (DSA) of block copolymers has gained much attention for its potential as a low-cost, high-throughput patterning tool to supplement existing lithographic techniques, and in particular for its ability to easily pattern vertical interconnect accesses (VIAs).1 Single-hole shrink has been extensively explored, but the continued push towards higher-resolution patterns requires more efficient, less space-consuming approaches. The lithographic resolution limits the minimum distance between two features, and the single-hole templates take up valuable real estate on the wafer.2 To accommodate denser features and relax the resolution requirements of the lithographic techniques, it is prudent to move to multi-VIA configurations in which two or more features are assembled in a single guiding template (such as a peanut,3 or a rounded rectangle4). This allows considerably denser feature patterning, but comes at the cost of more plentiful and complicated defect modes than those found in single-hole shrink features. Most systems contain persistent horizontal structures (eg. rings, U-defects, or bars as shown in Figure 1) that prove detrimental to the etch process and yield undesirable configurations. Largely unexplored is the tandem use of chemoepitaxy and graphoepitaxy to suppress defect modes in multi- VIA templates. Specifically, chemically selective patterning of the substrate beneath a template could act synergistically with the template's lateral guidance to lower defectivity. In this study, we use three-dimensional self-consistent field theory (SCFT) simulations to investigate the equilibrium and metastable defective configurations of di-block copolymer DSA systems in the presence of chemically selective or neutral template sidewalls and preferentially attractive striped substrates. We identify chemo-patterning schemes that maximize defect energies, including sidewall interaction strength and chemical preference. In addition, we discuss chemo

  16. Self-assembly of 21-arm star-like diblock copolymer in bulk and under cylindrical confinement

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Xu, Yuci; Li, Weihua; Qiu, Feng; Lin, Zhiqun

    2014-05-01

    Phase behaviors of a 21-arm star-like diblock copolymer in bulk and under confinement were explored by using the pseudo-spectral method of a self-consistent mean field theory. An asymmetrical phase diagram in bulk was constructed by comparing the free energy of different structures. The gyroid phase was found to possess a large phase region when the inner block in the star-like diblock copolymer has a small volume fraction, suggesting the propensity to form the gyroid phase under this condition. Combined with the early experimental work, a scaling law correlating the period of lamellae Dmultiarms formed from multi-arm star-like block copolymers with the number of arms f was identified, that is, Dmultiarms = D/f1/2, where D is the period of a linear diblock copolymer with the same degree of polymerization N as a star-like diblock copolymer. The scaling law was also substantiated by the scaling theory. The bridging fraction of the lamellae formed in a star-like diblock copolymer was nearly 100%, which is advantageous for improving its mechanical properties. Some interesting two-dimensional and three-dimensional morphologies were yielded under the cylindrical confinement, where a 3D double helix was found to be the most stable structure.

  17. Self-assembly of 21-arm star-like diblock copolymer in bulk and under cylindrical confinement.

    PubMed

    Xu, Yuci; Li, Weihua; Qiu, Feng; Lin, Zhiqun

    2014-06-21

    Phase behaviors of a 21-arm star-like diblock copolymer in bulk and under confinement were explored by using the pseudo-spectral method of a self-consistent mean field theory. An asymmetrical phase diagram in bulk was constructed by comparing the free energy of different structures. The gyroid phase was found to possess a large phase region when the inner block in the star-like diblock copolymer has a small volume fraction, suggesting the propensity to form the gyroid phase under this condition. Combined with the early experimental work, a scaling law correlating the period of lamellae D(multiarms) formed from multi-arm star-like block copolymers with the number of arms f was identified, that is, D(multiarms) = D/f(1/2), where D is the period of a linear diblock copolymer with the same degree of polymerization N as a star-like diblock copolymer. The scaling law was also substantiated by the scaling theory. The bridging fraction of the lamellae formed in a star-like diblock copolymer was nearly 100%, which is advantageous for improving its mechanical properties. Some interesting two-dimensional and three-dimensional morphologies were yielded under the cylindrical confinement, where a 3D double helix was found to be the most stable structure. PMID:24830862

  18. Self-assembly of rod-coil diblock copolymers within a rod-selective slit: a dissipative particle dynamics simulation study.

    PubMed

    Huang, Jian-Hua; Ma, Ze-Xin; Luo, Meng-Bo

    2014-06-01

    Dissipative particle dynamics simulations are performed to investigate the self-assembly of rod-coil diblock copolymers R(N(R))C(N-N(R)) within a rod-selective slit. The self-assembled structure of the confined system is sensitively dependent on the rigidity kθ and the fraction fR of the rod block and the slit height H. From the phase diagram of structures with respect to kθ and fR for N = 12 and H = 6, we observe four main structures including disordered cylinder (DC) structure, hexagonally packed cylinders (HPC) perpendicular to the slit surfaces, and lamellar structures parallel (L∥) and perpendicular (L⊥) to surfaces. And structure transitions can be achieved by tuning kθ. The effect of the slit height on the self-assembled structure is also studied for R6C6 and R7C5 copolymers with large kθ. For R6C6, different structures near surfaces and in the interior of slit are observed in relatively wide slits. Whereas for R7C5, L⊥ structure, whose lamellar domain spacing decays exponentially with H, is generally generated. Our results suggest an effective way to control the ordering of rod-coil diblock copolymers under nanoscale confinement. PMID:24801931

  19. Diblock-copolymer-mediated self-assembly of protein-stabilized iron oxide nanoparticle clusters for magnetic resonance imaging.

    PubMed

    Tähkä, Sari; Laiho, Ari; Kostiainen, Mauri A

    2014-03-01

    Superparamagnetic iron oxide nanoparticles (SPIONs) can be used as efficient transverse relaxivity (T2 ) contrast agents in magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). Organizing small (D<10 nm) SPIONs into large assemblies can considerably enhance their relaxivity. However, this assembly process is difficult to control and can easily result in unwanted aggregation and precipitation, which might further lead to lower contrast agent performance. Herein, we present highly stable protein-polymer double-stabilized SPIONs for improving contrast in MRI. We used a cationic-neutral double hydrophilic poly(N-methyl-2-vinyl pyridinium iodide-block-poly(ethylene oxide) diblock copolymer (P2QVP-b-PEO) to mediate the self-assembly of protein-cage-encapsulated iron oxide (γ-Fe2 O3 ) nanoparticles (magnetoferritin) into stable PEO-coated clusters. This approach relies on electrostatic interactions between the cationic N-methyl-2-vinylpyridinium iodide block and magnetoferritin protein cage surface (pI≈4.5) to form a dense core, whereas the neutral ethylene oxide block provides a stabilizing biocompatible shell. Formation of the complexes was studied in aqueous solvent medium with dynamic light scattering (DLS) and cryogenic transmission electron microcopy (cryo-TEM). DLS results indicated that the hydrodynamic diameter (Dh ) of the clusters is approximately 200 nm, and cryo-TEM showed that the clusters have an anisotropic stringlike morphology. MRI studies showed that in the clusters the longitudinal relaxivity (r1 ) is decreased and the transverse relaxivity (r2 ) is increased relative to free magnetoferritin (MF), thus indicating that clusters can provide considerable contrast enhancement. PMID:24523066

  20. Directed self-assembly of diblock copolymers in cylindrical confinement: effect of underfilling and air-polymer interactions on configurations

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Carpenter, Corinne L.; Delaney, Kris T.; Laachi, Nabil; Fredrickson, Glenn H.

    2015-03-01

    Directed self-assembly (DSA) of block copolymers has attracted attention for its use as a simple, cost- effective patterning tool for creating vertical interconnect access (VIA) channels in nanoelectronic devices.1, 2 This technique supplements existing lithographic technologies to allow for the creation of high-resolution cylindrical holes whose diameter and placement can be precisely controlled. In this study, we use self-consistent field theory (SCFT) simulations to investigate the equilibrium configurations of under-filled DSA systems with air-polymer interactions. We report on a series of SCFT simulations of our three species (PMMA-b-PS diblock and air) model in cylindrical confinement to explore the role of template diameter, under-fill fraction (i.e. volume fraction of air), air-polymer surface interaction and polymer-side wall/substrate interactions on equilibrium morphologies in an under-filled template with a free top surface. We identify parameters and system configurations where a meniscus appears and explore cases with PMMA-attractive, PS-attractive, and all-neutral walls to understand the effects of wall properties on meniscus geometry and DSA morphology. An important outcome is an understanding of the parameters that control the contact angle of the meniscus with the wall, as it is one of the simplest quantitative measures of the meniscus shape. Ultimately, we seek to identify DSA formulations, templates, and surface treatments with predictable central cylinder diameter and a shallow contact angle, as these factors would facilitate broad process windows and ease of manufacturing.

  1. Fabrication of Nanohole Array via Nanodot Array Using Simple Self-Assembly Process of Diblock Copolymer

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Matsuyama, Tsuyoshi; Kawata, Yoshimasa

    2007-06-01

    We present a simple self-assembly process for fabricating a nanohole array via a nanodot array on a glass substrate by dripping ethanol onto the nanodot array. It is found that well-aligned arrays of nanoholes as well as nanodots are formed on the whole surface of the glass. A dot is transformed into a hole, and the alignment of the nanodots strongly reflects that of the nanoholes. We find that the change in the depth of holes agrees well with the change in the surface energy with the ethanol concentration in the aqueous solution. We believe that the interfacial energy between the nanodots and the dripped ethanol causes the transformation from nanodots into nanoholes. The nanohole arrays are directly applicable to molds for nanopatterned media used in high-density near-field optical data storage. The bit data can be stored and read out using probes with small apertures.

  2. Self-Assembly of Diblock Copolymers in Half-Ellipsoid-Shape Confinements

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Park, So Jung; Kim, Myong-Hyun; Lee, Dagam; Kim, Jin Kon; Kim, Jaeup

    2014-03-01

    AB block copolymers can assemble into various nanoscale morphologies such as lamella, cylinder, sphere and gyroid depending on their composition and the interaction strength. In this work, we theoretically study various block copolymer morphologies in hemispherical and ellipsoidal shape confinements and compare the results with experiments. In the experiment, PS-PMMA block copolymers are physically confined by air and surface of nanobowl which interacts preferentially or randomly depending on the coating of the nanobowl. Our theoretical modeling uses self-consistent field theory (SCFT) which calculates the mean field density distribution of AB block copolymers in this confined geometry. The key parameters for the morphology determination are the size and shape of the container and the surface tension between components. For example, when the container wall is coated with PS polymers, onion-shape lamellar phase with PS at the bottom is observed rather than the parallel lamella r phase. It is also found that preferential air-polymer surface interaction promotes the alignment of domains. Our versatile method allows us to model ellipsoid-shaped confinements, and other interesting morphologies are found depending on the eccentricity of the ellipsoid. This work was supported by the National Research Foundation of Korea (NRF) grant funded by the Korea government (MEST) (no. 2012R1A1A2043633).

  3. Vertical Conducting Nanodomains Self-Assembled from Poly(3-hexylthiophene)-Based Diblock Copolymer Thin Films

    SciTech Connect

    Y Lee; S Kim; H Yang; M Jang; S Hwang; H Lee; K Baek

    2011-12-31

    We have synthesized {pi}-conjugated poly(3-hexyl thiophene)-block-poly(methyl methacrylate) (P3HT-b-PMMA) with a P3HT molecular weight of 11 kDa and a PMMA volume fraction of 0.53, which potentially has several organic electronic applications. Its phase-separation behavior was investigated for various thicknesses cast from organic solvents. When cast onto 300 nm thick SiO{sub 2} dielectrics from toluene, in which the P3HT segments have limited solubility, the P3HT-b-PMMA films consist of nanofibrillar self-assemblies of laterally {pi}-stacked P3HT chains. In contrast, the P3HT segments were found to be highly mobile in chlorobenzene, generating a typical phase-separation morphology consisting of vertically conducting P3HT nanodomains on these dielectrics. As the thickness of the cast films increased, however, the topmost surface becomes covered with {pi}-conjugated nanofibrils that are laterally oriented with respect to the surface. Due to the anisotropic domain orientations of P3HT, top-gate organic field-effect transistors (OFETs) containing the P3HT-b-PMMA films exhibited enhanced electrical performance compared to bottom-gate OFETs.

  4. One-pot glovebox-free synthesis, characterization, and self-assembly of novel amphiphilic poly(sarcosine-b-caprolactone) diblock copolymers.

    PubMed

    Cui, Saide; Wang, Xin; Li, Zhenjiang; Zhang, Qiguo; Wu, Wenzhuo; Liu, Jingjing; Wu, Hao; Chen, Cheng; Guo, Kai

    2014-11-01

    Novel amphiphilic polypeptoid-polyester diblock copolymers based on poly(sarcosine) (PSar) and poly(ε-caprolactone) (PCL) are synthesized by a one-pot glovebox-free approach. In this method, sarcosine N-carboxy anhydride (Sar-NCA) is firstly polymerized in the presence of benzylamine under N(2) flow, then the resulting poly(sarcosine) is used in situ as the macro-initiator for the ring-opening polymerization (ROP) of ε-caprolactone using tin(II) octanoate as a catalyst. The degree of poly-merization of each block is controlled by various feed ratios of monomer/initiator. The diblock copolymers with controlled molecular weight and narrow molecular weight distributions (Đ(M) < 1.2) are characterized by (1)H NMR, (13)C NMR, and size-exclusion chromatography. The self-assembly behavior of PSar-b-PCL in water is investigated by dynamic light scattering (DLS) and transmission electron microscopy. DLS results reveal that the diblock copolymers associate into nanoparticles with average hydrodynamic diameters (D(H)) around 100 nm in water, which may be used as drug delivery carriers. PMID:25283643

  5. Synthesis and self-assembly of biodegradable polyethylene glycol-poly (lactic acid) diblock copolymers as polymersomes for preparation of sustained release system of doxorubicin

    PubMed Central

    Alibolandi, Mona; Sadeghi, Fatemeh; Sazmand, Seyed Hossein; Shahrokhi, Seyed Mohammad; Seifi, Mahmoud; Hadizadeh, Farzin

    2015-01-01

    Introduction: The copolymer of polyethylene glycol (PEG) and polyesters has many interesting properties, such as amphiphilicity, biocompatibility, biodegradability, and self-assembly in an aqueous environment. Diblock copolymers of PEG-polyester can form different structures such as micelles, polymersome, capsules or micro-container in an aqueous environment according to the length of their blocks. Materials and Methods: Herein, a series of poly (lactic acid) (PLA) and PEG diblock copolymers were synthesized through the ring-opening polymerization. The polymerization reaction and the copolymer structures were evaluated by nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) and gel permeation chromatography (GPC). The corresponding copolymers were implemented for the formation of polymersome structures using film rehydration method. Impact of methoxy PEG chain length and hydrophobic weight fraction on particle size of polymersomes were studied, and the proper ones were selected for loading of doxorubicin (DOX) via pH gradient method. Results and Discussion: Results obtained from 1HNMR and GPC revealed that microwave irradiation is a simple and reliable method for the synthesis of PEG-PLA copolymers. Further analysis indicated the copolymer with relative molecular weight of PLA to PEG ratios of 3 or fEo ~ 25% produced the smallest size polymersomes. Polymersomes prepared from PEG5000 to PLA15000 were more capable in loading and sustained release of DOX than those prepared from PEG2000 to PLA6000. Conclusion: In conclusion copolymers of PEG/PLA with fOE ~25% and relatively higher molecular weight are more suitable for encapsulation and providing sustained release of DOX. PMID:26258054

  6. Effect of Small Molecule Osmolytes on the Self-Assembly and Functionality of Globular Protein-Polymer Diblock Copolymers

    SciTech Connect

    Thomas, Carla S.; Xu, Liza; Olsen, Bradley D.

    2013-12-05

    Blending the small molecule osmolytes glycerol and trehalose with the model globular protein–polymer block copolymer mCherry-b-poly(N-isopropyl acrylamide) (mCherry-b-PNIPAM) is demonstrated to improve protein functionality in self-assembled nanostructures. The incorporation of either additive into block copolymers results in functionality retention in the solid state of 80 and 100% for PNIPAM volume fractions of 40 and 55%, respectively. This represents a large improvement over the 50–60% functionality observed in the absence of any additive. Furthermore, glycerol decreases the thermal stability of block copolymer films by 15–20 °C, while trehalose results in an improvement in the thermal stability by 15–20 °C. These results suggest that hydrogen bond replacement is responsible for the retention of protein function but suppression or enhancement of thermal motion based on the glass transition of the osmolyte primarily determines thermal stability. While both osmolytes are observed to have a disordering effect on the nanostructure morphology with increasing concentration, this effect is less pronounced in materials with a larger polymer volume fraction. Glycerol preferentially localizes in the protein domains and swells the nanostructures, inducing disordering or a change in morphology depending on the PNIPAM coil fraction. In contrast, trehalose is observed to macrophase separate from the block copolymer, which results in nanodomains becoming more disordered without changing significantly in size.

  7. Formation and Reversible Morphological Transition of Bicontinuous Nanospheres and Toroidal Micelles by the Self-Assembly of a Crystalline-b-Coil Diblock Copolymer.

    PubMed

    Presa-Soto, David; Carriedo, Gabino A; de la Campa, Raquel; Presa Soto, Alejandro

    2016-08-16

    We herein report the formation of two complex nanostructures, toroidal micelles and bicontinuous nanospheres, by the self-assembly of the single structurally simple crystalline-b-coil diblock copolymer poly[bis(trifluoroethoxy)phosphazene]-b-poly(styrene), PTFEP-b-PS, in one solvent (THF) and without additives. The nature of these nanostructures in solution was confirmed by DLS and cryo-TEM experiments. The two morphologies are related by means of a new type of reversible morphological evolution, bicontinuous-to-toroidal, triggered by changes in the polymer concentration. WAXS experiments showed that the degree of crystallinity of the PTFEP chains located at the core of the toroids was higher than that in the bicontinuous nanospheres, thus indicating that the final morphology of the aggregates is mostly determined by the ordering of the PTFEP core-forming blocks. PMID:27455871

  8. The Effect of Small Molecule Additives on the Self-Assembly and Functionality of Protein-Polymer Diblock Copolymers

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Thomas, Carla; Xu, Liza; Olsen, Bradley

    2013-03-01

    Self-assembly of globular protein-polymer block copolymers into well-defined nanostructures provides a route towards the manufacture of protein-based materials which maintains protein fold and function. The model material mCherry-b-poly(N-isopropyl acrylamide) forms self-assembled nanostructures from aqueous solutions via solvent evaporation. To improve retention of protein functionality when dehydrated, small molecules such as trehalose and glycerol are added in solution prior to solvent removal. With as little as 10 wt% additive, improvements in retained functionality of 20-60% are observed in the solid-state as compared to samples in which no additive is present. Higher additive levels (up to 50%) continue to show improvement until approximately 100% of the protein function is retained. These large gains are hypothesized to originate from the ability of the additives to replace hydrogen bonds normally fulfilled by water. The addition of trehalose in the bulk material also improves the thermal stability of the protein by 15-20 °C, while glycerol decreases the thermal stability. Materials containing up to 50% additives remain microphase separated, and, upon incorporation of additives, nanostructure domain spacing tends to increase, accompanied by order-order transitions.

  9. Quantitative Control of Pore Size of Mesoporous Carbon Nanospheres through the Self-Assembly of Diblock Copolymer Micelles in Solution.

    PubMed

    Tian, Hao; Lin, Zhixing; Xu, Fugui; Zheng, Jingxu; Zhuang, Xiaodong; Mai, Yiyong; Feng, Xinliang

    2016-06-01

    This paper reports facile synthesis of nitrogen-doped mesoporous carbon nanospheres (MCNSs) with average diameters of around 300 nm and well-controlled pore sizes ranging from 8 to 38 nm, by employing polystyrene-b-poly(ethylene oxide) (PS-b-PEO) diblocks with different PS block lengths as the soft templates and dopamine as the carbon-rich precursor. For the first time, a linear equation is achieved for the quantitative control of the average pore size of MCNSs by simply adjusting a block length of diblock copolymer. The resultant MCNSs possess high surface areas of up to 450 m(2) g(-1) and nitrogen doping contents of up to ≈3 wt%. As electrode materials of supercapacitors, the MCNSs exhibit excellent electrochemical performance with high specific capacitances of up to 350 F g(-1) at 0.1 A g(-1) , superior rate capability, and cycling stability. Interestingly, the specific capacitance of the MCNSs reduces linearly with increasing pore size, whereas the normalized capacitance by specific surface area remains invariable. This represents a new spectrum of the relationship between electrochemical capacitance and pore size (>5 nm) for porous carbons, which makes a complement to the existing spectra focusing on pore diameters of <5 nm. PMID:27120340

  10. Arrangement of Maghemite Nanoparticles via Wet Chemical Self-Assembly in PS-b-PNIPAM Diblock Copolymer Films.

    PubMed

    Yao, Yuan; Metwalli, Ezzeldin; Su, Bo; Körstgens, Volker; Moseguí González, Daniel; Miasnikova, Anna; Laschewsky, Andre; Opel, Matthias; Santoro, Gonzalo; Roth, Stephan V; Müller-Buschbaum, Peter

    2015-06-17

    The structure and magnetic behavior of hybrid films composed of maghemite (γ-Fe2O3) nanoparticles (NPs) and an asymmetric diblock copolymer (DBC) polystyrene61-block-polyN-isopropylacrylamide115 are investigated. The NPs are coated with PS chains, which allow for a selective incorporation inside the PS domains at different NP concentrations. Upon incorporation of low amounts of NPs into the DBC thin films, the initial parallel (to film surface) cylinder morphology changes to a well ordered, perpendicularly oriented one. The characteristic domain distance of the DBC is increased due to the swelling of the PS domains with NPs. At higher NP concentrations, the excess NPs which can no longer be embedded in the PS domains, are accumulated at the film surface, and NP aggregates form. Irrespective of NP concentration, a superparamagnetic behavior of the metal oxide-DBC hybrid films is found. Such superparamagnetic properties make the established hybrid films interesting for high density magnetic storage media and thermoresponsive magnetic sensors. PMID:26001128

  11. Aqueous self-assembly of poly(ethylene oxide)-block-poly(ε-caprolactone) (PEO-b-PCL) copolymers: disparate diblock copolymer compositions give rise to nano- and meso-scale bilayered vesicles

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Qi, Wei; Ghoroghchian, P. Peter; Li, Guizhi; Hammer, Daniel A.; Therien, Michael J.

    2013-10-01

    Nanoparticles formed from diblock copolymers of FDA approved PEO and PCL have generated considerable interest as in vivo drug delivery vehicles. Herein, we report the synthesis of the most extensive family PEO-b-PCL copolymers that vary over the largest range of number-average molecular weights (Mn: 3.6-57k), PEO weight fractions (fPEO: 0.08-0.33), and PEO chain lengths (0.75-5.8k) reported to date. These polymers were synthesized in order to establish the full range of aqueous phase behaviours of these diblock copolymers and to specifically identify formulations that were able to generate bilayered vesicles (polymersomes). Cryogenic transmission electron microscopy (cryo-TEM) was utilized in order to visualize the morphology of these structures upon aqueous self-assembly of dry polymer films. Nanoscale polymersomes were formed from PEO-b-PCL copolymers over a wide range of PEO weight fractions (fPEO: 0.14-0.27) and PEO molecular weights (0.75-3.8k) after extrusion of aqueous suspensions. Comparative morphology diagrams, which describe the nature of self-assembled structures as a function of diblock copolymer molecular weight and PEO weight fraction, show that in contrast to micron-scale polymersomes, which form only from a limited range of PEO-b-PCL diblock copolymer compositions, a multiplicity of PEO-b-PCL diblock copolymer compositions are able to give rise to nanoscale vesicles. These data underscore that PEO-b-PCL compositions that spontaneously form micron-sized polymersomes, as well as those that have previously been reported to form polymersomes via a cosolvent fabrication system, provide only limited insights into the distribution of PEO-b-PCL diblocks that give rise to nanoscale vesicles. The broad range of polymersome-forming PEO-b-PCL compositions described herein suggest the ability to construct extensive families of nanoscale vesicles of varied bilayer thickness, providing the ability to tune the timescales of vesicle degradation and encapsulant

  12. Computer simulations of block copolymer tethered nanoparticle self-assembly

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Chan, Elaine R.; Ho, Lin C.; Glotzer, Sharon C.

    2006-08-01

    We perform molecular simulations to study the self-assembly of block copolymer tethered cubic nanoparticles. Minimal models of the tethered nanoscale building blocks (NBBs) are utilized to explore the structures arising from self-assembly. We demonstrate that attaching a rigid nanocube to a diblock copolymer affects the typical equilibrium morphologies exhibited by the pure copolymer. Lamellar and cylindrical phases are observed in both systems but not at the corresponding relative copolymer tether block fractions. The effect of nanoparticle geometry on phase behavior is investigated by comparing the self-assembled structures formed by the tethered NBBs with those of their linear ABC triblock copolymer counterparts. The tethered nanocubes exhibit the conventional triblock copolymer lamellar and cylindrical phases when the repulsive interactions between different blocks are symmetric. The rigid and bulky nature of the cube induces interfacial curvature in the tethered NBB phases compared to their linear ABC triblock copolymer counterparts. We compare our results with those structures obtained from ABC diblock copolymer tethered nanospheres to further elucidate the role of cubic nanoparticle geometry on self-assembly.

  13. Highly Flexible Self-Assembled V2O5 Cathodes Enabled by Conducting Diblock Copolymers

    SciTech Connect

    An, Hyosung; Mike, Jared; Smith, Kendall A.; Swank, Lisa; Lin, Yen-Hao; L. Pesek, Stacy; Verduzco, Rafael; Lutkenhaus, Jodie L.

    2015-09-22

    Mechanically robust battery electrodes are desired for applications in wearable devices, flexible displays, and structural energy and power. In this regard, the challenge is to balance mechanical and electrochemical properties in materials that are inherently brittle. Here, we demonstrate a unique water-based self-assembly approach that incorporates a diblock copolymer bearing electron- and ion-conducting blocks, poly(3-hexylthiophene)-block-poly(ethyleneoxide) (P3HT-b-PEO), with V2O5 to form a flexible, tough, carbon-free hybrid battery cathode. V2O5 is a promising lithium intercalation material, but it remains limited by its poor conductivity and mechanical properties. Our approach leads to a unique electrode structure consisting of interlocking V2O5 layers glued together with micellar aggregates of P3HT-b-PEO, which results in robust mechanical properties, far exceeding the those obtained from conventional fluoropolymer binders. Only 5 wt % polymer is required to triple the flexibility of V2O5, and electrodes comprised of 10 wt % polymer have unusually high toughness (293 kJ/m3) and specific energy (530 Wh/kg), both higher than reduced graphene oxide paper electrodes. Furthermore, addition of P3HT-b-PEO enhances lithium-ion diffusion, eliminates cracking during cycling, and boosts cyclability relative to V2O5 alone. These results highlight the importance of tradeoffs between mechanical and electrochemical performance, where polymer content can be used to tune both aspects.

  14. Testing the Vesicular Morphology to Destruction: Birth and Death of Diblock Copolymer Vesicles Prepared via Polymerization-Induced Self-Assembly

    PubMed Central

    2014-01-01

    Small angle X-ray scattering (SAXS), electrospray ionization charge detection mass spectrometry (CD-MS), dynamic light scattering (DLS), and transmission electron microscopy (TEM) are used to characterize poly(glycerol monomethacrylate)55-poly(2-hydroxypropyl methacrylate)x (G55-Hx) vesicles prepared by polymerization-induced self-assembly (PISA) using a reversible addition–fragmentation chain transfer (RAFT) aqueous dispersion polymerization formulation. A G55 chain transfer agent is utilized to prepare a series of G55-Hx diblock copolymers, where the mean degree of polymerization (DP) of the membrane-forming block (x) is varied from 200 to 2000. TEM confirms that vesicles with progressively thicker membranes are produced for x = 200–1000, while SAXS indicates a gradual reduction in mean aggregation number for higher x values, which is consistent with CD-MS studies. Both DLS and SAXS studies indicate minimal change in the overall vesicle diameter between x = 400 and 800. Fitting SAXS patterns to a vesicle model enables calculation of the membrane thickness, degree of hydration of the membrane, and the mean vesicle aggregation number. The membrane thickness increases at higher x values, hence the vesicle lumen must become smaller if the external vesicle dimensions remain constant. Geometric considerations indicate that this growth mechanism lowers the total vesicle interfacial area and hence reduces the free energy of the system. However, it also inevitably leads to gradual ingress of the encapsulated water molecules into the vesicle membrane, as confirmed by SAXS analysis. Ultimately, the highly plasticized membranes become insufficiently hydrophobic to stabilize the vesicle morphology when x exceeds 1000, thus this PISA growth mechanism ultimately leads to vesicle “death”. PMID:25526525

  15. Testing the vesicular morphology to destruction: birth and death of diblock copolymer vesicles prepared via polymerization-induced self-assembly.

    PubMed

    Warren, Nicholas J; Mykhaylyk, Oleksandr O; Ryan, Anthony J; Williams, Mark; Doussineau, Tristan; Dugourd, Philippe; Antoine, Rodolphe; Portale, Giuseppe; Armes, Steven P

    2015-02-11

    Small angle X-ray scattering (SAXS), electrospray ionization charge detection mass spectrometry (CD-MS), dynamic light scattering (DLS), and transmission electron microscopy (TEM) are used to characterize poly(glycerol monomethacrylate)55-poly(2-hydroxypropyl methacrylate)x (G55-Hx) vesicles prepared by polymerization-induced self-assembly (PISA) using a reversible addition-fragmentation chain transfer (RAFT) aqueous dispersion polymerization formulation. A G55 chain transfer agent is utilized to prepare a series of G55-Hx diblock copolymers, where the mean degree of polymerization (DP) of the membrane-forming block (x) is varied from 200 to 2000. TEM confirms that vesicles with progressively thicker membranes are produced for x = 200-1000, while SAXS indicates a gradual reduction in mean aggregation number for higher x values, which is consistent with CD-MS studies. Both DLS and SAXS studies indicate minimal change in the overall vesicle diameter between x = 400 and 800. Fitting SAXS patterns to a vesicle model enables calculation of the membrane thickness, degree of hydration of the membrane, and the mean vesicle aggregation number. The membrane thickness increases at higher x values, hence the vesicle lumen must become smaller if the external vesicle dimensions remain constant. Geometric considerations indicate that this growth mechanism lowers the total vesicle interfacial area and hence reduces the free energy of the system. However, it also inevitably leads to gradual ingress of the encapsulated water molecules into the vesicle membrane, as confirmed by SAXS analysis. Ultimately, the highly plasticized membranes become insufficiently hydrophobic to stabilize the vesicle morphology when x exceeds 1000, thus this PISA growth mechanism ultimately leads to vesicle "death". PMID:25526525

  16. Dynamic Processes in Diblock Copolymer Micelles

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Robertson, Megan; Singh, Avantika

    2013-03-01

    Diblock copolymers, which form micelle structures in selective solvents, offer advantages of robustness and tunability of micelle characteristics as compared to small molecule surfactants. Diblock copolymer micelles in water have been a subject of great interest in drug delivery applications based on their high loading capacity and targeted drug delivery. The aim of this work is to understand the dynamic processes which underlie the self-assembly of diblock copolymer micelle systems which have a semi-crystalline core. Due to the large size of the molecules, the self-assembly of block copolymer micelles occurs on significantly longer time scales than small molecule analogues. The present work focuses on amphiphilic diblock copolymers containing blocks of poly(ethylene oxide) (a hydrophilic polymer) and polycaprolactone (a hydrophobic, semi-crystalline polymer), which spontaneously self-assemble into spherical micelles in water. A variety of experimental techniques are used to probe the kinetic processes relevant to micelle self-assembly, including time-resolved neutron scattering, dynamic light scattering, pulsed field gradient nuclear magnetic resonance, and fluorescence resonance energy transfer experiments.

  17. Selective confinement of oleylamine capped Au nanoparticles in self-assembled PS-b-PEO diblock copolymer templates.

    PubMed

    Di Mauro, A Evelyn; Striccoli, Marinella; Depalo, Nicoletta; Fanizza, Elisabetta; Cano, Laida; Ingrosso, Chiara; Agostiano, Angela; Curri, M Lucia; Tercjak, Agnieszka

    2014-03-21

    Amphiphilic polystyrene-block-polyethylene oxide (PS-b-PEO) block copolymers (BCPs) have been demonstrated to be effective in directing organization of colloidal Au nanoparticles (NPs). Au NPs have been incorporated into the polymer and the different chemical affinity between the NP surface and the two blocks of the BCP has been used as a driving force of the assembling procedure. The morphology of the nanocomposites, prepared and fabricated as thin films, has been investigated by means of atomic force and scanning electron microscopies as a function of the NP content and BCP molecular weight. NPs have been effectively dispersed in PS-b-PEO hosts at any investigated content (up to 17 wt%) and a clear effect of the BCP properties on the final nanocomposite morphology has been highlighted. Finally, electrostatic force microscopy has demonstrated the conductive properties of the nanocomposite films, showing that the embedded Au NPs effectively convey their conductive properties to the film. The overall investigation has confirmed the selective confinement of the as-prepared surfactant-coated metal NPs in the PS block of PS-b-PEO, thus proposing a very simple and prompt assembling tool for nanopatterning, potentially suitable for optoelectronic, sensing and catalysis applications. PMID:24800269

  18. Self-assembly of diblock co-polymers at air-water interface: A microscopy and x-ray scattering study

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Giri, R. P.; Mukhopadhyay, M. K.

    2016-05-01

    The spontaneous surface aggregation of diblock copolymer, containing polystyrene-polydimethylsiloxane or PS-PDMS, have been studied at air-water interface using Brewster's angle microscopy (BAM) and grazing incidence small angle x-ray scattering (GISAXS) technique. Pronounced differences in the molecular weight and solvent dependence of the size of aggregation on the water surface are observed. Structural characterization is done using atomic force microscopy (AFM) for a monolayer transferred to Si substrate. It shows that, individual polymer chains coalesce to form some disc like micelle aggregation on the Si surface which is also evident from the BAM image of the water floated monolayer. GISAXS study is also corroborating the same result.

  19. Morphologies of poly(cyclohexadiene) diblock copolymers

    SciTech Connect

    Kumar, Rajeev; Mays, Jimmy; Sides, Scott; Goswami, Monojoy; Sumpter, Bobby G; Hong, Kunlun; Avgeropoulos, Apostolos; Russell, Thomas P; Gido, Samuel; Tsoukatos, Thodoris; Beyer, Fredrick

    2012-01-01

    Concerted experimental and theoretical investigations have been carried out to understand the micro-phase separation in diblock copolymer melts containing poly (1,3-cyclohexadiene), PCHD, as one of the constituents. In particular, we have studied diblock copolymer melts containing polystyrene (PS), polybutadiene (PB), and polyisoprene (PI) as the second block. We have systematically varied the ratio of 1,2- /1,4-microstructures of poly (1,3-cyclohexadiene) to tune the conformational asymmetry between the two blocks and characterized the effects of these changes on the morphologies using transmission electron microscopy (TEM) and small angle X-ray scattering (SAXS). Our experimental investigations reveal that the melts of PCHD-b-PB, PCHD-b-PS and PCHD-b-PI containing nearly equal fractions of each component and high percentage of 1,4-microstructures in the PCHD block form cylindrical rather than lamellar morphologies as expected in symmetric diblock copolymers. In contrast, the morphologies of PCHD-b-PB, PCHD-b-PS and PCHD-b-PI containing PCHD block with higher 1,2-microstructure are found to be disordered at 110 C. The change in the morphological behavior is in good agreement with our numerical calculations using the random phase approximation and self-consistent field theory for conformationally asymmetric diblock copolymer melts. Also, the effects of composition fluctuations are studied by extending the Brazovskii-Leibler-Fredrickson-Helfand (J. Chem. Phys. 87, 697 (1987)) theory to conformationally asymmetric diblock copolymer melts. These results allow the understanding of the underlying self-assembly process that highlights the importance of the conformational asymmetry in tuning the morphologies in block copolymers.

  20. Diblock Copolymers under Nano-Confinement

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Meng, Dong; Yin, Yuhua; Wang, Qiang

    2009-03-01

    Nano-confinement strongly affects and can thus be used to control the self-assembled morphology of block copolymers. Understanding such effects is of both fundamental and practical interest. In this work, we use real-space self-consistent field calculations with high accuracy to study the self-assembled morphology of diblock copolymers (DBC) under nano-confinement for several systems, including 1D lamellae-forming DBC confined between two homogeneous and parallel surfaces, in nano-pores, and on topologically patterned substrates; 2D cylinder-forming DBC on chemically strip-patterned substrates; and 3D gyroid- forming DBC confined between two homogeneous and parallel surfaces. The stable phases are identified through free-energy comparison, and our SCF results are compared with available experiments and Monte Carlo simulations in each case.

  1. Self-assembly of Random Copolymers

    PubMed Central

    Li, Longyu; Raghupathi, Kishore; Song, Cunfeng; Prasad, Priyaa; Thayumanavan, S.

    2014-01-01

    Self-assembly of random copolymers has attracted considerable attention recently. In this feature article, we highlight the use of random copolymers to prepare nanostructures with different morphologies and to prepare nanomaterials that are responsive to single or multiple stimuli. The synthesis of single-chain nanoparticles and their potential applications from random copolymers are also discussed in some detail. We aim to draw more attention to these easily accessible copolymers, which are likely to play an important role in translational polymer research. PMID:25036552

  2. Crystallization in Ordered Polydisperse Polyolefin Diblock Copolymers

    SciTech Connect

    Li, Sheng; Register, Richard A.; Landes, Brian G.; Hustad, Phillip D.; Weinhold, Jeffrey D.

    2010-12-07

    The morphologies of polydisperse ethylene-octene diblock copolymers, synthesized via a novel coordinative chain transfer polymerization process, are examined using two-dimensional synchrotron small-angle and wide-angle X-ray scattering on flow-aligned specimens. The diblock copolymers comprise one amorphous block with high 1-octene content and one semicrystalline block with relatively low 1-octene content, and each block ideally exhibits the most-probable distribution. Near-symmetric diblocks with a sufficiently large octene differential between the amorphous and semicrystalline blocks show well-ordered lamellar domain structures with long periods exceeding 100 nm. Orientation of these domain structures persists through multiple melting/recrystallization cycles, reflecting a robust structure which self-assembles in the melt. The domain spacings are nearly 3-fold larger than those in near-monodisperse polyethylene block copolymers of similar molecular weights. Although the well-ordered lamellar domain structure established in the melt is preserved in the solid state, the crystallites are isotropic in orientation. These materials display crystallization kinetics consistent with a spreading growth habit, indicating that the lamellae do not confine or template the growing crystals. The exceptionally large domain spacings and isotropic crystal growth are attributed to interblock mixing resulting from the large polydispersity; short hard blocks dissolved in the soft-block-rich domains swell the domain spacing in the melt and allow hard block crystallization to proceed across the lamellar domain interfaces.

  3. Confined Crystallization in Poly(3-alkylthiophene)-containing Diblock Copolymers

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Davidson, Emily; Ho, Victor; Beckingham, Bryan; Segalman, Rachel

    2014-03-01

    Confined crystallization within a diblock copolymer of a conjugated, semiconducting poly(3-alkylthiophene) (P3AT) block has been achieved by selecting an alkyl side chain that significantly depresses the crystalline driving force relative to the self-assembly driving force. Here, we demonstrate flow alignment of these P3AT-containing diblocks. In addition, we show that the chain axis of the semicrystalline P3AT orients preferentially relative to domain interfaces; the degree of crystalline orientation may be controlled as a function of domain width. Further work will examine the role of thermal treatments on crystallite orientation and morphology within confinement.

  4. Diblock Copolymers for Nanoscale Patterning

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Russell, Thomas

    2006-03-01

    As the size scale of device features becomes increasingly smaller, conventional lithographic processes become increasingly more difficult and expensive, especially at a minimum feature size of less than 50 nm. Consequently, to achieve higher density circuits, storage devices or displays, it is evident that alternative routes need to be developed to circumvent both cost and manufacturing issues. An ideal process would be compatible with existing technological processes/manufacturing techniques and these strategies, together with novel materials, could allow significant advances to be made in meeting both short-term and long-term demands for higher density and faster devices. The self-assembly of block copolymers (BCP), two polymer chains covalently linked together at one end, provides a robust solution to these challenges. As thin films, immiscible BCP self-assemble into a range of highly-ordered morphologies where with size scale of the features is limited to the size of the polymers chains and are, therefore, nanoscopic in size. While self-assembly alone is sufficient for a number of applications in fabricating advanced microelectronics, directed self-orienting self-assembly processes are also required to produce complex devices with the required density and addressability of elements to meet future demands. By combining tailored self-assembly processes, a bottom-up approach, with micro-fabrication processes, a top-down approach, the ever-present thirst of the consumer for faster, better and cheaper devices can be met in very simple, yet robust, ways.

  5. Self-assembly of block copolymers grafted onto a flat substrate: Recent progress in theory and simulations

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zheng, Wang; Bao-Hui, Li

    2016-01-01

    Block copolymers are a class of soft matter that self-assemble to form ordered morphologies on the scale of nanometers, making them ideal materials for various applications. These applications directly depend on the shape and size of the self-assembled morphologies, and hence, a high degree of control over the self-assembly is desired. Grafting block copolymer chains onto a substrate to form copolymer brushes is a versatile method to fabricate functional surfaces. Such surfaces demonstrate a response to their environment, i.e., they change their surface topography in response to different external conditions. Furthermore, such surfaces may possess nanoscale patterns, which are important for some applications; however, such patterns may not form with spun-cast films under the same condition. In this review, we summarize the recent progress of the self-assembly of block copolymers grafted onto a flat substrate. We mainly concentrate on the self-assembled morphologies of end-grafted AB diblock copolymers, junction point-grafted AB diblock copolymers (i.e., Y-shaped brushes), and end-grafted ABA triblock copolymers. Special emphasis is placed on theoretical and simulation progress. Project supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of China (Grant Nos. 20990234, 20925414, and 91227121), the Program for Changjiang Scholars and Innovative Research Team in University, China (Grant No. IRT1257), the Programme of Introducing Talents of Discipline to Universities, China, and by the Tianhe No. 1, China.

  6. Ordering stripe structures of nanoscale rods in diblock copolymer scaffolds

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Chen, Kang; Ma, Yu-qiang

    2002-05-01

    We report a simulation on the formation of ordered stripe structures of nanoscale rods driven by symmetric diblock copolymer melts. Due to the preferential adsorption of one species of the diblock onto the mobile rods, the phase ordering process will couple with the movement of rods. We find that the self-assembly of rods on the copolymer scaffold produces the highly ordered nanowires of rods, and copolymer blends in turn form the well-oriented lamellar structure. This is due to the interplay among the micro-phase separating dynamics in the diblock copolymer, the wetting interaction between rods and diblock copolymer, and the nematic ordering dynamics of rods. We examine the influence of the domain size, the wetting strength, and the rod number density on the formation of such a nanoscale structure. Additionally, we indicate that the orientation of the pattern can be well controlled by external fields acting on the rods. The results suggest that our model system may provide a novel and simple way to control and design the ordering nanowire structure.

  7. Phase behaviors of cyclic diblock copolymers.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Guojie; Fan, Zhongyong; Yang, Yuliang; Qiu, Feng

    2011-11-01

    A spectral method of self-consistent field theory has been applied to AB cyclic block copolymers. Phase behaviors of cyclic diblock copolymers, such as order-disorder transition, order-order transition, and domain spacing size, have been studied, showing good consistency with previous experimental and theoretical results. Compared to linear diblocks, cyclic diblocks are harder to phase separate due to the topological constraint of the ring structure. A direct disorder-to-cylinder transition window is observed in the phase diagram, which is significantly different from the mean field phase diagram of linear diblock copolymers. The domain spacing size ratio between cyclic and linear diblock copolymers is typically close to 0.707, indicating in segregation that the cyclic polymer can be considered to be made up of linear diblocks with half of the original chain length. PMID:22070321

  8. Unexpected Consequences of Block Polydispersity on the Self-Assembly of ABA Triblock Copolymers

    SciTech Connect

    Widin, Joan M.; Schmitt, Adam K.; Schmitt, Andrew L.; Im, Kyuhyun; Mahanthappa, Mahesh K.

    2012-05-09

    Controlled/'living' polymerizations and tandem polymerization methodologies offer enticing opportunities to enchain a wide variety of monomers into new, functional block copolymer materials with unusual physical properties. However, the use of these synthetic methods often introduces nontrivial molecular weight polydispersities, a type of chain length heterogeneity, into one or more of the copolymer blocks. While the self-assembly behavior of monodisperse AB diblock and ABA triblock copolymers is both experimentally and theoretically well understood, the effects of broadening the copolymer molecular weight distribution on block copolymer phase behavior are less well-explored. We report the melt-phase self-assembly behavior of SBS triblock copolymers (S = poly(styrene) and B = poly(1,4-butadiene)) comprised of a broad polydispersity B block (M{sub w}/M{sub n} = 1.73-2.00) flanked by relatively narrow dispersity S blocks (M{sub w}/M{sub n} = 1.09-1.36), in order to identify the effects of chain length heterogeneity on block copolymer self-assembly. Based on synchrotron small-angle X-ray scattering and transmission electron microscopy analyses of seventeen SBS triblock copolymers with poly(1,4-butadiene) volume fractions 0.27 {le} f{sub B} {le} 0.82, we demonstrate that polydisperse SBS triblock copolymers self-assemble into periodic structures with unexpectedly enhanced stabilities that greatly exceed those of equivalent monodisperse copolymers. The unprecedented stabilities of these polydisperse microphase separated melts are discussed in the context of a complete morphology diagram for this system, which demonstrates that narrow dispersity copolymers are not required for periodic nanoscale assembly.

  9. Unexpected consequences of block polydispersity on the self-assembly of ABA triblock copolymers.

    PubMed

    Widin, Joan M; Schmitt, Adam K; Schmitt, Andrew L; Im, Kyuhyun; Mahanthappa, Mahesh K

    2012-02-29

    Controlled/"living" polymerizations and tandem polymerization methodologies offer enticing opportunities to enchain a wide variety of monomers into new, functional block copolymer materials with unusual physical properties. However, the use of these synthetic methods often introduces nontrivial molecular weight polydispersities, a type of chain length heterogeneity, into one or more of the copolymer blocks. While the self-assembly behavior of monodisperse AB diblock and ABA triblock copolymers is both experimentally and theoretically well understood, the effects of broadening the copolymer molecular weight distribution on block copolymer phase behavior are less well-explored. We report the melt-phase self-assembly behavior of SBS triblock copolymers (S = poly(styrene) and B = poly(1,4-butadiene)) comprised of a broad polydispersity B block (M(w)/M(n) = 1.73-2.00) flanked by relatively narrow dispersity S blocks (M(w)/M(n) = 1.09-1.36), in order to identify the effects of chain length heterogeneity on block copolymer self-assembly. Based on synchrotron small-angle X-ray scattering and transmission electron microscopy analyses of seventeen SBS triblock copolymers with poly(1,4-butadiene) volume fractions 0.27 ≤ f(B) ≤ 0.82, we demonstrate that polydisperse SBS triblock copolymers self-assemble into periodic structures with unexpectedly enhanced stabilities that greatly exceed those of equivalent monodisperse copolymers. The unprecedented stabilities of these polydisperse microphase separated melts are discussed in the context of a complete morphology diagram for this system, which demonstrates that narrow dispersity copolymers are not required for periodic nanoscale assembly. PMID:22280467

  10. Rapid self-assembly of block copolymers to photonic crystals

    DOEpatents

    Xia, Yan; Sveinbjornsson, Benjamin R; Grubbs, Robert H; Weitekamp, Raymond; Miyake, Garret M; Atwater, Harry A; Piunova, Victoria; Daeffler, Christopher Scot; Hong, Sung Woo; Gu, Weiyin; Russell, Thomas P.

    2016-07-05

    The invention provides a class of copolymers having useful properties, including brush block copolymers, wedge-type block copolymers and hybrid wedge and polymer block copolymers. In an embodiment, for example, block copolymers of the invention incorporate chemically different blocks comprising polymer size chain groups and/or wedge groups that significantly inhibit chain entanglement, thereby enhancing molecular self-assembly processes for generating a range of supramolecular structures, such as periodic nanostructures and microstructures. The present invention also provides useful methods of making and using copolymers, including block copolymers.

  11. Double-Gyroid Network Morphology in Tapered Diblock Copolymers

    SciTech Connect

    R Roy; J Park; W Young; S Mastroianni; M Tureau; T Epps III

    2011-12-31

    We report the formation of a double-gyroid network morphology in normal-tapered poly(isoprene-b-isoprene/styrene-b-styrene) [P(I-IS-S)] and inverse-tapered poly(isoprene-b-styrene/isoprene-b-styrene) [P(I-SI-S)] diblock copolymers. Our tapered diblock copolymers with overall poly(styrene) volume fractions of 0.65 (normal-tapered) and 0.67 (inverse-tapered), and tapered regions comprising 30 vol % of the total polymer, were shown to self-assemble into the double-gyroid network morphology through a combination of small-angle X-ray scattering (SAXS) and transmission electron microscopy (TEM). The block copolymers were synthesized by anionic polymerization, where the tapered region between the pure poly(isoprene) and poly(styrene) blocks was generated using a semibatch feed with programmed syringe pumps. The overall composition of these tapered copolymers lies within the expected network-forming region for conventional poly(isoprene-b-styrene) [P(I-S)] diblock copolymers. Dynamic mechanical analysis (DMA) clearly demonstrated that the order-disorder transition temperatures (T{sub ODT}'s) of the network-forming tapered block copolymers were depressed when compared to the T{sub ODT} of their nontapered counterpart, with the P(I-SI-S) showing the greater drop in T{sub ODT}. These results indicate that it is possible to manipulate the copolymer composition profile between blocks in a diblock copolymer, allowing significant control over the T{sub ODT}, while maintaining the ability to form complex network structures.

  12. Double-Gyroid Network Morphology in Tapered Diblock Copolymers

    SciTech Connect

    Roy, Raghunath; Park, Jong Keun; Young, Wen-Shiue; Mastroianni, Sarah E.; Tureau, Maeva S.; Epps, III, Thomas H.

    2012-11-14

    We report the formation of a double-gyroid network morphology in normal-tapered poly(isoprene-b-isoprene/styrene-b-styrene) [P(I-IS-S)] and inverse-tapered poly(isoprene-b-styrene/isoprene-b-styrene) [P(I-SI-S)] diblock copolymers. Our tapered diblock copolymers with overall poly(styrene) volume fractions of 0.65 (normal-tapered) and 0.67 (inverse-tapered), and tapered regions comprising 30 vol % of the total polymer, were shown to self-assemble into the double-gyroid network morphology through a combination of small-angle X-ray scattering (SAXS) and transmission electron microscopy (TEM). The block copolymers were synthesized by anionic polymerization, where the tapered region between the pure poly(isoprene) and poly(styrene) blocks was generated using a semibatch feed with programmed syringe pumps. The overall composition of these tapered copolymers lies within the expected network-forming region for conventional poly(isoprene-b-styrene) [P(I-S)] diblock copolymers. Dynamic mechanical analysis (DMA) clearly demonstrated that the order-disorder transition temperatures (T{sub ODT}'s) of the network-forming tapered block copolymers were depressed when compared to the T{sub ODT} of their nontapered counterpart, with the P(I-SI-S) showing the greater drop in T{sub ODT}. These results indicate that it is possible to manipulate the copolymer composition profile between blocks in a diblock copolymer, allowing significant control over the T{sub ODT}, while maintaining the ability to form complex network structures.

  13. Design of nanostructured materials from block copolymer self-assembly

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Leolukman, Melvina

    We present two classes of nanostructured materials by combining the self assembly of block copolymer (BCP) with suitable small molecule chemistry, which are applicable to organic electro-optics (EO) and as etch-resistant masks for nanofabrication. The underlying principles of designing the specific interactions between BCP host and guest molecules, driving the self-assembly in bulk and thin film, and dictating domain orientation are concepts common to both of these areas. Nanostructured EO materials were created by selectively encapsulating EO chromophores by hydrogen-bonding to the pyridine groups of a linear-diblock copolymer (linear-diBCP) namely polystyrene-block-poly(4-vinyl pyridine) [PS-b-P4VP], or a linear-dendritic-BCP. With the linear-diBCP host, we discovered that poled order in confined domains depends on domain shape, chromophore concentration within the domain, and thermal history. The linear-dendritic-BCP is an excellent host as it efficiently disperses the chromophores into small domains (5-10nm), and keeps the chromophores apart within the domains due to the dendritic architecture. These morphological effects translated into excellent film processability, increased chromophore loading, and two-fold enhancements in the EO coefficient (r 33) when compared to a corresponding homopolymer system. A new class of organic-inorganic nanostructured materials based on polyhedral oligomeric silsesquioxane (POSS) was synthesized as a passive template for pattern transfer. We developed a living anionic polymerization route for methacrylate-functionalized POSS and synthesized two kinds of BCPs, namely PS-b-PMAPOSS and PMMA-b-PMAPOSS. The anionic route allows high degree of polymerization, narrow polydispersity, and tunable POSS block length. These lead to well defined spherical, cylindrical, and lamellar morphologies, as well as formation of hierarchical structures upon thermal annealing. Both POSS-containing BCPs were assembled in thin film and converted to hard

  14. Controlled self-assembly of amphiphilic diblock copolypeptides

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pakstis, Lisa M.

    Amphiphilic diblock copolypeptides that are 200 amino acids in length with a hydrophilic lysine (K) block and a hydrophobic leucine (L) block assemble into stiff, porous hydrogels at low volume fractions of polymer (<0.5 wt%) and neutral pH. When assembled quickly in pure water, the polypeptides form rigid hydrogels with bulk mechanical properties that are tunable based on molecular design, i.e. chain length, choice of amino acid, and hydrophilic to hydrophobic block ratio, and solution conditions such as salt concentration. Hydrogels assemble via the formation of membranes on the nanoscale due to hydrophobic interactions that interconnect to create an innately porous network on both the nano- and microscale. The porous morphology, high modulus, and peptidic foundation of these hydrogels make them intriguing candidates for biomaterials applications. Biocompatibility studies of these peptide-based materials revealed that anionic polypeptide hydrogels are not cytotoxic to mammalian cells. In an effort to understand the overall assembly mechanism, polypeptides were assembled from miscible organic/water mixtures to slow the kinetics of assembly. Prior suspension of the block copolypeptides in organic cosolvent enabled greater copolypeptide chain mobility that, after water addition and subsequent removal of the organic via evaporation, provides for a more regular packing of the copolypeptide molecules and, more importantly, for the controllability of the assembled morphology. At the fastest organic evaporation rate (˜6 hours), the copolypeptides assembled into weak hydrogels with a homogeneous microstructure. Slowing the evaporation rate to ˜24 hours, and hence the kinetics of assembly, produced regular, non-interconnected fibrils. Longer evaporation times, ˜2 days, led to the formation of hexagonal platelets. Interestingly, copolypeptides with a racemic copolymer leucine block did not assemble into any regular nanostructures, indicating that the secondary structure

  15. On the Use of Self-Assembling Block Copolymers to Toughen A Model Epoxy

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Chen, Yilin

    Block copolymers have been receiving considerable attention in toughening epoxy due to their ability to form a wide variety of nanostructures. This study focuses on using both triblock and diblock copolymers to improve the fracture toughness of an aromatic-amine cured epoxy system. The curing system consisted of 1,3- phenylenediamine (mPDA) as curing agent and aniline as a chain extender. Three triblock copolymers and three diblock copolymers were incorporated in the same lightly crosslinked model epoxy system, which was chosen to mimic an underfill material in flip-chip packaging for the microelectronics industry. In this research, rubber particles were formed in situ using self-assembling block copolymers. Mechanical, thermal and microscopic studies were conducted with the main goal to study the relationship between the block parameters and the final morphologies and their effects on static and dynamic mechanical properties of the toughened resin, especially fracture toughness. In these block-copolymer-modified epoxies, spherical micelles and wormlike micelles were obtained by varying block lengths, molecular weight, polarities and compositions. It was found that miscibility of the epoxy-miscible block played a crucial role in the formation of different types of morphologies. At a low loading level, diblock copolymers were able to toughen the model epoxy as effectively as triblock copolymers. The fracture toughness was improved to almost three times with respect to that of the neat resin with addition of 10 phr AM*-27. At the same time, other mechanical properties, such as yield strength and modulus, were well retained. Incorporation of block copolymers did not have a significant effect on glass transition temperature but caused an increase in coefficient of thermal expansion (CTE) of the modified epoxy. Particle cavitation and matrix void growth were proved to be the toughening mechanisms for SBM-Modified epoxies. However, these typical toughening mechanisms for

  16. Fabrication of Complex Three-Dimensional Nanostructures from Self-Assembling Block Copolymer Materials on Patterned Surfaces: A computational Study

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ye, Xianggui; Edwards, Brian J.; Khomami, Bamin

    2010-03-01

    Chemically patterned substrates can direct the assembly of adsorbed layers or thin films of block copolymers. Here, we consider the self-assembly of a lamella-forming diblock copolymer on periodically stripe-patterned substrates. The morphology of the block copolymer follows the pattern at the substrate; however, with an increasing degree of mismatch between the width of the stripe-pattern and the periodic spacing of bulk block copolymer, novel morphologies have been found. Therefore, it is possible to adjust the morphologies in thin bock copolymer films by adjusting the mismatch between the width of the stripe-pattern and the periodic spacing of the bulk block copolymer. These results demonstrate a promising strategy for fabrication of complex interfacial nanostructures from chemically patterned templates.

  17. Rapid thermal processing of self-assembling block copolymer thin films on flat surfaces and topographically defined patterns

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Perego, Michele; Ferrarese Lupi, Federico; Giammaria, Tommaso J.; Seguini, Gabriele; Gianotti, Valentina; Antonioli, Diego; Sparnacci, Katia; Laus, Michele; Enrico, Emanuele; de Leo, Natascia; Boarino, Luca; Ober, Christopher K.

    2014-03-01

    Self-assembling block copolymers generate nanostructured patterns, which are potentially useful for a wide range of applications. However, their technological implementation is prevented by the very long time required to drive the process. In this contribution, we demonstrate the capability to control the morphology of the self-assembling process of cylinder forming PS-b-PMMA diblock copolymer (DBC) thin films deposited on un-patterned and topographically patterned surfaces by means of a Rapid Thermal Processing (RTP) machine. Highly ordered patterns were obtained on flat surfaces for perpendicular-oriented cylindrical PS-b-PMMA block copolymers in less than 60 s. The BCs morphology evolution within topographically defined structures was systematically investigated as well. Irrespective of the surface neutralization, an irreversible orientational flipping of the BCP microdomains inside the trenches was observed. This effect was attributed to de-swelling of the polymeric film as a consequence of a progressive desorption of the solvent retained inside the film.

  18. Micellar cathodes from self-assembled nitroxide-containing block copolymers in battery electrolytes.

    PubMed

    Hauffman, Guillaume; Maguin, Quentin; Bourgeois, Jean-Pierre; Vlad, Alexandru; Gohy, Jean-François

    2014-01-01

    This contribution describes the synthesis of block copolymers containing electrochemically active blocks, their micellization, and finally their use as micellar cathodes in a lithium battery. The self-assembly of the synthesized poly(styrene)-block-poly(2,2,6,6-tetramethylpiperidinyloxy-4-yl methacrylate) (PS-b-PTMA) diblock copolymers is realized in a typical battery electrolyte made of 1 m lithium trifluoromethanesulfonate dissolved in a mixture of ethylene carbonate/diethyl carbonate/dimethyl carbonate(1:1:1, in volume). Dynamic light scattering and atomic force micro-scopy indicate the formation of well-defined spherical micelles with a PS core and a PTMA corona. The electrochemical properties of those micelles are further investigated. Cyclic voltammograms show a reversible redox reaction at 3.6 V (vs Li(+) /Li). The charge/discharge profiles indicate a flat and reversible plateau around 3.6 V (vs Li(+) /Li). Finally, the cycling performances of the micellar cathodes are demonstrated. Such self-assembled block copolymers open new opportunities for nanostructured organic radical batteries. PMID:24127365

  19. Self-assembly of rod-coil-rod ABA-type triblock copolymers.

    PubMed

    Chen, Ji-Zhong; Sun, Zhao-Yan; Zhang, Cheng-Xiang; An, Li-Jia; Tong, Zhen

    2008-02-21

    Self-assembled behavior of symmetric ABA rod-coil-rod triblock copolymer melts is studied by applying self-consistent-field lattice techniques in three-dimensional space. The phase diagram is constructed to understand the effects of the chain architecture on the self-assembled behavior. Four stable structures are observed for the ABA rod-coil-rod triblock, i.e., spherelike, lamellar, gyroidlike, and cylindrical structures. Different from AB rod-coil diblock and BAB coil-rod-coil triblock copolymers, the lamellar structure observed in ABA rod-coil-rod triblock copolymer melts is not stable for high volume fraction of the rod component (f(rod)=0.8), which is attributed to the intramolecular interactions between the two rod blocks of the polymer chain. When 0.3

  20. Directed Self-Assembly of Block Copolymers for High Breakdown Strength Polymer Film Capacitors.

    PubMed

    Samant, Saumil P; Grabowski, Christopher A; Kisslinger, Kim; Yager, Kevin G; Yuan, Guangcui; Satija, Sushil K; Durstock, Michael F; Raghavan, Dharmaraj; Karim, Alamgir

    2016-03-01

    Emerging needs for fast charge/discharge yet high-power, lightweight, and flexible electronics requires the use of polymer-film-based solid-state capacitors with high energy densities. Fast charge/discharge rates of film capacitors on the order of microseconds are not achievable with slower charging conventional batteries, supercapacitors and related hybrid technologies. However, the current energy densities of polymer film capacitors fall short of rising demand, and could be significantly enhanced by increasing the breakdown strength (EBD) and dielectric permittivity (εr) of the polymer films. Co-extruded two-homopolymer component multilayered films have demonstrated much promise in this regard showing higher EBD over that of component polymers. Multilayered films can also help incorporate functional features besides energy storage, such as enhanced optical, mechanical, thermal and barrier properties. In this work, we report accomplishing multilayer, multicomponent block copolymer dielectric films (BCDF) with soft-shear driven highly oriented self-assembled lamellar diblock copolymers (BCP) as a novel application of this important class of self-assembling materials. Results of a model PS-b-PMMA system show ∼50% enhancement in EBD of self-assembled multilayer lamellar BCP films compared to unordered as-cast films, indicating that the breakdown is highly sensitive to the nanostructure of the BCP. The enhancement in EBD is attributed to the "barrier effect", where the multiple interfaces between the lamellae block components act as barriers to the dielectric breakdown through the film. The increase in EBD corresponds to more than doubling the energy storage capacity using a straightforward directed self-assembly strategy. This approach opens a new nanomaterial paradigm for designing high energy density dielectric materials. PMID:26942835

  1. Dual modes of self-assembly in superstrongly segregated bicomponent triblock copolymer melts

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Woloszczuk, Sebastian; Mineart, Kenneth P.; Spontak, Richard J.; Banaszak, Michal

    2015-01-01

    While A B C triblock copolymers are known to form a plethora of dual-mode (i.e., order-on-order) nanostructures, bicomponent A B A triblock copolymers normally self-assemble into single morphologies at thermodynamic incompatibility levels up to the strong-segregation regime. In this study, we employ on-lattice Monte Carlo simulations to examine the phase behavior of molecularly asymmetric A1B A2 copolymers possessing chemically identical endblocks differing significantly in length. In the limit of superstrong segregation, interstitial micelles composed of the minority A2 endblock are observed to arrange into two-dimensional hexagonal arrays along the midplane of B -rich lamellae in compositionally symmetric (50 :50 A :B ) copolymers. Simulations performed here establish the coupled molecular-asymmetry and incompatibility conditions under which such micelles form, as well as the temperature dependence of their aggregation number. Beyond an optimal length of the A2 endblock, the propensity for interstitial micelles to develop decreases, and the likelihood for colocation of both endblocks in the A1-rich lamellae increases. Interestingly, the strong-segregation theory of Semenov developed to explain the formation of free micelles by diblock copolymers accurately predicts the onset of interstitial micelles confined at nanoscale dimensions between parallel lamellae.

  2. Hard-Surface Effects in Diblock Copolymer Systems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Meng, Dong; Yin, Yuhua; Acres, Jacqueline; Wang, Qiang

    2008-03-01

    Polymer chains near a hard (impenetrable) surface have different conformations from those in the bulk. For diblock copolymers (DBC), a hard surface has both energetic and entropic effects. The decrease of polymer segmental density near a hard surface reduces A-B repulsion and favors self-assembled morphologies with more A-B interfaces near the surface, while the enrichment of chain ends and depletion of middle segments near the surface favor parallel morphologies where chains orient mainly perpendicular to the surface. Using parallel self-consistent field calculations with high accuracy, we have studied in detail the hard-surface effects in three DBC systems: DBC thin films confined between two flat homogeneous surfaces, DBC in nanopores, and DBC nanocomposites.

  3. Self-assembly of ABA triblock copolymers under soft confinement

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sheng, Yuping; An, Jian; Zhu, Yutian

    2015-05-01

    Using Monte Carlo method, the self-assembly of ABA triblock copolymers under soft confinement is investigated in this study. The soft confinement is achieved by a poor solvent environment for the polymer, which makes the polymer aggregate into a droplet. Various effects, including the block length ratio, the solvent quality for the blocks B, and the incompatibility between blocks A and B, on the micellar structures induced by soft confinement are examined. By increasing the solvent quality of B blocks, the micellar structure transforms from stacked lamella to bud-like structure, and then to onion-like structure for A5B8A5 triblock copolymers, while the inner micellar structure changes from spherical phase to various cylindrical phase, such as inner single helix, double helixes, stacked rings and cage-like structures, for A7B4A7 triblock copolymers. Moreover, the formation pathways of some typical aggregates are examined to illustrate their growth mechanisms.

  4. Multilayer block copolymer meshes by orthogonal self-assembly

    PubMed Central

    Tavakkoli K. G., Amir; Nicaise, Samuel M.; Gadelrab, Karim R.; Alexander-Katz, Alfredo; Ross, Caroline A.; Berggren, Karl K.

    2016-01-01

    Continued scaling-down of lithographic-pattern feature sizes has brought templated self-assembly of block copolymers (BCPs) into the forefront of nanofabrication research. Technologies now exist that facilitate significant control over otherwise unorganized assembly of BCP microdomains to form both long-range and locally complex monolayer patterns. In contrast, the extension of this control into multilayers or 3D structures of BCP microdomains remains limited, despite the possible technological applications in next-generation devices. Here, we develop and analyse an orthogonal self-assembly method in which multiple layers of distinct-molecular-weight BCPs naturally produce nanomesh structures of cylindrical microdomains without requiring layer-by-layer alignment or high-resolution lithographic templating. The mechanisms for orthogonal self-assembly are investigated with both experiment and simulation, and we determine that the control over height and chemical preference of templates are critical process parameters. The method is employed to produce nanomeshes with the shapes of circles and Y-intersections, and is extended to produce three layers of orthogonally oriented cylinders. PMID:26796218

  5. Multilayer block copolymer meshes by orthogonal self-assembly

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tavakkoli K. G., Amir; Nicaise, Samuel M.; Gadelrab, Karim R.; Alexander-Katz, Alfredo; Ross, Caroline A.; Berggren, Karl K.

    2016-01-01

    Continued scaling-down of lithographic-pattern feature sizes has brought templated self-assembly of block copolymers (BCPs) into the forefront of nanofabrication research. Technologies now exist that facilitate significant control over otherwise unorganized assembly of BCP microdomains to form both long-range and locally complex monolayer patterns. In contrast, the extension of this control into multilayers or 3D structures of BCP microdomains remains limited, despite the possible technological applications in next-generation devices. Here, we develop and analyse an orthogonal self-assembly method in which multiple layers of distinct-molecular-weight BCPs naturally produce nanomesh structures of cylindrical microdomains without requiring layer-by-layer alignment or high-resolution lithographic templating. The mechanisms for orthogonal self-assembly are investigated with both experiment and simulation, and we determine that the control over height and chemical preference of templates are critical process parameters. The method is employed to produce nanomeshes with the shapes of circles and Y-intersections, and is extended to produce three layers of orthogonally oriented cylinders.

  6. Self-Assembly of a Selectively Modified Fluorinated Block Copolymer

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Davidock, Drew; Hillmyer, Marc; Lodge, Timothy

    2002-03-01

    Selective modification can be used to systematically tune the strength of the thermodynamic interaction between the two segments of a block copolymer. It also offers an effective method for the preparation of model fluorinated block copolymers, which are difficult to synthesize directly. In this study, the effect of controlled difluorocarbene (CF_2) addition to the polyisoprene block on the self-assembly of a series of poly(ethylethylene)-b-polyisoprene (PEE-b-PI) copolymers was investigated. Equilibrium morphologies were determined by small-angle X-ray scattering (SAXS). An effective interaction parameter (\\chi_eff) between the PEE and FPI-s-PI was calculated from the domain spacing, and is found to increase by a factor of ~400 upon complete CF2 modification. The resulting materials also offer an opportunity to examine the phase behavior all the way from weak to strong segregation with one parent copolymer. Using a binary interaction model originally developed for homopolymer/copolymer blends, we were able to model the dependence of \\chi_eff on the extent of fluorination in a quantitative manner and obtain values for the three pairwise interaction parameters.

  7. Self-assembled phases of block copolymer blend thin films.

    PubMed

    Yager, Kevin G; Lai, Erica; Black, Charles T

    2014-10-28

    The patterns formed by self-assembled thin films of blended cylindrical and lamellar polystyrene-b-poly(methyl methacrylate) block copolymers can be either a spatially uniform, single type of nanostructure or separate, coexisting regions of cylinders and lamellae, depending on fractional composition and molecular weight ratio of the blend constituents. In blends of block copolymers with different molecular weights, the morphology of the smaller molecular weight component more strongly dictates the resulting pattern. Although molecular scale chain mixing distorts microdomain characteristic length scales from those of the pure components, even coexisting morphologies exhibit the same domain spacing. We quantitatively account for the phase behavior of thin-film blends of cylinders and lamellae using a physical, thermodynamic model balancing the energy of chain distortions with the entropy of mixing. PMID:25285733

  8. Rational synthesis of low-polydispersity block copolymer vesicles in concentrated solution via polymerization-induced self-assembly.

    PubMed

    Gonzato, Carlo; Semsarilar, Mona; Jones, Elizabeth R; Li, Feng; Krooshof, Gerard J P; Wyman, Paul; Mykhaylyk, Oleksandr O; Tuinier, Remco; Armes, Steven P

    2014-08-01

    Block copolymer self-assembly is normally conducted via post-polymerization processing at high dilution. In the case of block copolymer vesicles (or "polymersomes"), this approach normally leads to relatively broad size distributions, which is problematic for many potential applications. Herein we report the rational synthesis of low-polydispersity diblock copolymer vesicles in concentrated solution via polymerization-induced self-assembly using reversible addition-fragmentation chain transfer (RAFT) polymerization of benzyl methacrylate. Our strategy utilizes a binary mixture of a relatively long and a relatively short poly(methacrylic acid) stabilizer block, which become preferentially expressed at the outer and inner poly(benzyl methacrylate) membrane surface, respectively. Dynamic light scattering was utilized to construct phase diagrams to identify suitable conditions for the synthesis of relatively small, low-polydispersity vesicles. Small-angle X-ray scattering (SAXS) was used to verify that this binary mixture approach produced vesicles with significantly narrower size distributions compared to conventional vesicles prepared using a single (short) stabilizer block. Calculations performed using self-consistent mean field theory (SCMFT) account for the preferred self-assembled structures of the block copolymer binary mixtures and are in reasonable agreement with experiment. Finally, both SAXS and SCMFT indicate a significant degree of solvent plasticization for the membrane-forming poly(benzyl methacrylate) chains. PMID:25026466

  9. Aqueous dispersion polymerization: a new paradigm for in situ block copolymer self-assembly in concentrated solution.

    PubMed

    Sugihara, Shinji; Blanazs, Adam; Armes, Steven P; Ryan, Anthony J; Lewis, Andrew L

    2011-10-01

    Reversible addition-fragmentation chain transfer polymerization has been utilized to polymerize 2-hydroxypropyl methacrylate (HPMA) using a water-soluble macromolecular chain transfer agent based on poly(2-(methacryloyloxy)ethylphosphorylcholine) (PMPC). A detailed phase diagram has been elucidated for this aqueous dispersion polymerization formulation that reliably predicts the precise block compositions associated with well-defined particle morphologies (i.e., pure phases). Unlike the ad hoc approaches described in the literature, this strategy enables the facile, efficient, and reproducible preparation of diblock copolymer spheres, worms, or vesicles directly in concentrated aqueous solution. Chain extension of the highly hydrated zwitterionic PMPC block with HPMA in water at 70 °C produces a hydrophobic poly(2-hydroxypropyl methacrylate) (PHPMA) block, which drives in situ self-assembly to form well-defined diblock copolymer spheres, worms, or vesicles. The final particle morphology obtained at full monomer conversion is dictated by (i) the target degree of polymerization of the PHPMA block and (ii) the total solids concentration at which the HPMA polymerization is conducted. Moreover, if the targeted diblock copolymer composition corresponds to vesicle phase space at full monomer conversion, the in situ particle morphology evolves from spheres to worms to vesicles during the in situ polymerization of HPMA. In the case of PMPC(25)-PHPMA(400) particles, this systematic approach allows the direct, reproducible, and highly efficient preparation of either block copolymer vesicles at up to 25% solids or well-defined worms at 16-25% solids in aqueous solution. PMID:21854065

  10. Polymerization-Induced Self-Assembly of Block Copolymer Nano-objects via RAFT Aqueous Dispersion Polymerization

    PubMed Central

    2014-01-01

    In this Perspective, we discuss the recent development of polymerization-induced self-assembly mediated by reversible addition–fragmentation chain transfer (RAFT) aqueous dispersion polymerization. This approach has quickly become a powerful and versatile technique for the synthesis of a wide range of bespoke organic diblock copolymer nano-objects of controllable size, morphology, and surface functionality. Given its potential scalability, such environmentally-friendly formulations are expected to offer many potential applications, such as novel Pickering emulsifiers, efficient microencapsulation vehicles, and sterilizable thermo-responsive hydrogels for the cost-effective long-term storage of mammalian cells. PMID:24968281

  11. Polymerization-induced self-assembly of block copolymer nano-objects via RAFT aqueous dispersion polymerization.

    PubMed

    Warren, Nicholas J; Armes, Steven P

    2014-07-23

    In this Perspective, we discuss the recent development of polymerization-induced self-assembly mediated by reversible addition-fragmentation chain transfer (RAFT) aqueous dispersion polymerization. This approach has quickly become a powerful and versatile technique for the synthesis of a wide range of bespoke organic diblock copolymer nano-objects of controllable size, morphology, and surface functionality. Given its potential scalability, such environmentally-friendly formulations are expected to offer many potential applications, such as novel Pickering emulsifiers, efficient microencapsulation vehicles, and sterilizable thermo-responsive hydrogels for the cost-effective long-term storage of mammalian cells. PMID:24968281

  12. Bicontinuous Polymeric Microemulsions from Polydisperse Diblock Copolymers

    SciTech Connect

    Ellison, Christopher J.; Meuler, Adam J.; Qin, Jian; Evans, Christopher M.; Wolf, Lynn M.; Bates, Frank S.

    2009-06-12

    Polymeric bicontinuous microemulsions are thermodynamically stable structures typically formed by ternary blends of immiscible A and B homopolymers and a macromolecular surfactant such as an AB diblock copolymer. Investigations of these bicontinuous morphologies have largely focused on model systems in which all components have narrow molecular weight distributions. Here we probe the effects of AB diblock polydispersity in ternary blends of polystyrene (PS), polyisoprene (PI), and poly(styrene-b-isoprene) (PS-PI). Three series of blends were prepared using the same PS and PI homopolymers; two of them contain nearly monodisperse components while the third includes a polydisperse PS-PI diblock. The PS and PI homopolymers and two of the PS-PI diblocks were prepared by anionic polymerization using sec-butyllithium and have narrow molecular weight distributions. The polydisperse PS-PI diblock was prepared by anionic polymerization using the functional organolithium 3-tert-butyldimethylsilyloxy-1-propyllithium; this diblock has a polydisperse PS block (M{sub w}/M{sub n} = 1.57) and a nearly monodisperse PI block (Mw/Mn < 1.1). The phase behavior of the three series of blends was probed using a combination of dynamic mechanical spectroscopy, small-angle X-ray scattering, and cloud point measurements, and a bicontinuous microemulsion channel was identified in each system. These results prove that monodisperse components are not required to form bicontinuous microemulsions and highlight the utility of polydispersity as a tool to tune polymer blend phase behavior. The random-phase approximation, originally advanced by de Gennes, and self-consistent field theory are used to provide a theoretical supplement to the experimental work. These theories are able to predict the directions of the polydispersity-driven shifts in domain spacing, order-disorder transition temperatures, and the location of the microemulsion channel. Self-consistent field theory is also used in conjunction

  13. Influence of chain rigidity on the phase behavior of wormlike diblock copolymers.

    PubMed

    Jiang, Ying; Chen, Jeff Z Y

    2013-03-29

    We utilize the wormlike chain model in the framework of the self-consistent field theory to investigate the influence of chain rigidity on the phase diagram of AB diblock copolymers in the full three-dimensional space. We develop an efficient numerical scheme that can be used to calculate the physical properties of ordered microstructures self-assembled from semiflexible block copolymers. The calculation describes the entire physical picture of the phase diagram, crossing from the flexible over to rodlike polymer behavior. PMID:23581386

  14. Nucleobase-functionalized ABC triblock copolymers: self-assembly of supramolecular architectures.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Keren; Fahs, Gregory B; Aiba, Motohiro; Moore, Robert B; Long, Timothy E

    2014-08-21

    RAFT polymerization afforded acrylic ABC triblock copolymers with self-complementary nucleobase-functionalized external blocks and a low-Tg soft central block. ABC triblock copolymers self-assembled into well-defined lamellar microphase-separated morphologies for potential applications as thermoplastic elastomers. Complementary hydrogen bonding within the hard phase facilitated self-assembly and enhanced mechanical performance. PMID:24984613

  15. Gyroid nickel nanostructures from diblock copolymer supramolecules.

    PubMed

    Vukovic, Ivana; Punzhin, Sergey; Voet, Vincent S D; Vukovic, Zorica; de Hosson, Jeff Th M; ten Brinke, Gerrit; Loos, Katja

    2014-01-01

    Nanoporous metal foams possess a unique combination of properties - they are catalytically active, thermally and electrically conductive, and furthermore, have high porosity, high surface-to-volume and strength-to-weight ratio. Unfortunately, common approaches for preparation of metallic nanostructures render materials with highly disordered architecture, which might have an adverse effect on their mechanical properties. Block copolymers have the ability to self-assemble into ordered nanostructures and can be applied as templates for the preparation of well-ordered metal nanofoams. Here we describe the application of a block copolymer-based supramolecular complex - polystyrene-block-poly(4-vinylpyridine)(pentadecylphenol) PS-b-P4VP(PDP) - as a precursor for well-ordered nickel nanofoam. The supramolecular complexes exhibit a phase behavior similar to conventional block copolymers and can self-assemble into the bicontinuous gyroid morphology with two PS networks placed in a P4VP(PDP) matrix. PDP can be dissolved in ethanol leading to the formation of a porous structure that can be backfilled with metal. Using electroless plating technique, nickel can be inserted into the template's channels. Finally, the remaining polymer can be removed via pyrolysis from the polymer/inorganic nanohybrid resulting in nanoporous nickel foam with inverse gyroid morphology. PMID:24797367

  16. Gyroid Nickel Nanostructures from Diblock Copolymer Supramolecules

    PubMed Central

    Vukovic, Ivana; Punzhin, Sergey; Voet, Vincent S. D.; Vukovic, Zorica; de Hosson, Jeff Th. M.; ten Brinke, Gerrit; Loos, Katja

    2014-01-01

    Nanoporous metal foams possess a unique combination of properties - they are catalytically active, thermally and electrically conductive, and furthermore, have high porosity, high surface-to-volume and strength-to-weight ratio. Unfortunately, common approaches for preparation of metallic nanostructures render materials with highly disordered architecture, which might have an adverse effect on their mechanical properties. Block copolymers have the ability to self-assemble into ordered nanostructures and can be applied as templates for the preparation of well-ordered metal nanofoams. Here we describe the application of a block copolymer-based supramolecular complex - polystyrene-block-poly(4-vinylpyridine)(pentadecylphenol) PS-b-P4VP(PDP) - as a precursor for well-ordered nickel nanofoam. The supramolecular complexes exhibit a phase behavior similar to conventional block copolymers and can self-assemble into the bicontinuous gyroid morphology with two PS networks placed in a P4VP(PDP) matrix. PDP can be dissolved in ethanol leading to the formation of a porous structure that can be backfilled with metal. Using electroless plating technique, nickel can be inserted into the template's channels. Finally, the remaining polymer can be removed via pyrolysis from the polymer/inorganic nanohybrid resulting in nanoporous nickel foam with inverse gyroid morphology. PMID:24797367

  17. Thermodynamics of the multi-stage self-assembly of pH-sensitive gradient copolymers in aqueous solutions.

    PubMed

    Černochová, Zulfiya; Bogomolova, Anna; Borisova, Olga V; Filippov, Sergey K; Černoch, Peter; Billon, Laurent; Borisov, Oleg V; Štěpánek, Petr

    2016-08-10

    The self-assembly thermodynamics of pH-sensitive di-block and tri-block gradient copolymers of acrylic acid and styrene was studied for the first time using isothermal titration calorimetry (ITC) and dynamic light scattering (DLS) performed at varying pH. We were able to monitor each step of micellization as a function of decreasing pH. The growth of micelles is a multi-stage process that is pH dependent with several exothermic and endothermic components. The first step of protonation of the acrylic acid monomer units was accompanied mainly by conformational changes and the beginning of self-assembly. In the second stage of self-assembly, the micelles become larger and the number of micelles becomes smaller. While solution acidity increases, the isothermal calorimetry data show a broad deep minimum corresponding to an exothermic process attributed to an increase in the size of hydrophobic domains and an increase in the structure's hydrophobicity. The minor change in heat capacity (ΔCp) confirms the structural changes during this exothermic process. The exothermic process terminates deionization of acrylic acid. The pH-dependence of the ζ-potential of the block gradient copolymer micelles exhibits a plateau in the regime corresponding to the pH-controlled variation of the micellar dimensions. The onset of micelle formation and the solubility of the gradient copolymers were found to be dependent on the length of the gradient block. PMID:27451979

  18. On the birefringence of multilayered symmetric diblock copolymer films

    SciTech Connect

    Kim, J.; Chin, I.; Smith, B.A.; Russell, T.P. ); Mays, J.W. . Dept. of Chemistry)

    1993-09-27

    The chain extension at lamellar interfaces was studied in thin films of symmetric diblock copolymers on gold substrates. The first copolymer consisted of blocks of polystyrene (PS) and poly(2-vinylpyridine) (P2VP), denoted P(S-b-2VP). The second was a diblock copolymer of PS and poly(methyl methacrylate) (PMMA), denoted P(S-b-MMA), on a gold substrate. Using attenuated total reflectance spectroscopy, the refractive indices parallel, n[sub [parallel

  19. Nanoimprint-guided self-assembly of block copolymer films for the patterned media templates.

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sakurai, Masatoshi; Hieda, Hiroyuki; Kamata, Yoshiyuki; Kikitsu, Akira; Naito, Katsuyuki; Asakawa, Koji; Adjanor, Gilles

    2003-03-01

    We report the low-cost fabrication of nano-patterned magnetic media on a 2.5-inch disk. The nano-scale magnetic dot arrays are arranged along the track direction of the disk. The mask patterns for these patterned media are prepared by the guided self-assembly of diblock-copolymer films with nanoimprint lithography used for the preparation of the guides all over the disk surfaces. The PS-PMMA block copolymer films make hexagonal-packed structures with the PMMA dot arrays arranged along the imprinted guide directions. The pitch of these dot patterns are 80nm, 30nm, and smaller. By choosing the width of the guides, the numbers of the dot rows in each guide are controlled from 1 to 10. Using these patterns, magnetic films are etched by ion milling. In each obtained magnetic dot, single magnetic domains with a perpendicular orientation are confirmed, and coercive forces and squareness ratios increase compared to the continuous magnetic films. The detailed results for the precise positioning of the dot arrays will be presented.

  20. Functionalized organic nanoparticles from core-crosslinked poly(4-vinylbenzocyclobutene-b-butadiene) diblock copolymer micelles

    SciTech Connect

    Sakellariou, Georgios; Avgeropoulos, Apostolos; Hadjichristidis, Nikos; Mays, Jimmy; Baskaran, Durairaj

    2009-01-01

    Sufface-functionalized polymeric nanoparticles were prepared by: a) self~assembly of poly(4-vinylbenzocyclobutene-b-butadiene) diblock copolymer (PVBCB-b-PB) to form spherical micelles (diameter:15-48 nm) in decane, a selective solvent for PB, b) crosslinking of the PVBCB core through thermal dimerization at 200-240 ~ C, and c) cleavage of the PB corona via ozonolysis and addition of dimethyl sulfide to afford aldehyde-functionalized nanoparticles (diameter: -16-20 nm), along with agglomerated nanoparticles ranging from - 30 to -100 nm in diameter. The characterization of the diblock copolymer precursors. the intermediate micelles and the final surface-functionalized crosslinked nanoparticles was carried alit by a combination of size exclusion chromatography, static and dynamic light scattering, viscometry, thermogravimetric analysis, 1 H NMR and FfIR spectroscopy and transmission electron microscopy.

  1. Highly ordered nanoporous films from supramolecular diblock copolymers with hydrogen-bonding junctions.

    PubMed

    Montarnal, Damien; Delbosc, Nicolas; Chamignon, Cécile; Virolleaud, Marie-Alice; Luo, Yingdong; Hawker, Craig J; Drockenmuller, Eric; Bernard, Julien

    2015-09-14

    We designed efficient precursors that combine complementary associative groups with exceptional binding affinities and thiocarbonylthio moieties enabling precise RAFT polymerization. Well defined PS and PMMA supramolecular polymers with molecular weights up to 30 kg mol(-1) are synthesized and shown to form highly stable supramolecular diblock copolymers (BCPs) when mixed, in non-polar solvents or in the bulk. Hierarchical self-assembly of such supramolecular BCPs by thermal annealing affords morphologies with excellent lateral order, comparable to features expected from covalent diblock copolymer analogues. Simple washing of the resulting materials with protic solvents disrupts the supramolecular association and selectively dissolves one polymer, affording a straightforward process for preparing well-ordered nanoporous materials without resorting to crosslinking or invasive chemical degradations. PMID:26234749

  2. Nanowire polarizers by guided self-assembly of block copolymers

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Roberts, Philip M. S.; Baum, Alexandra; Karamath, James; Evans, Allan; Shibata, Satoshi; Walton, Harry

    2014-01-01

    Wire-grid polarizers (WGPs) are currently limited by their wafer-scale manufacturing methods to sizes of approximately 12 to 18 in. For large-size displays, a new method for the production of large-area WGPs is required. Large-area WGPs were simulated using the finite-difference-time-domain method, and a scaleable method for their production based on a block copolymer (BCP)-nanostructured template was implemented. The nanostructured template is globally aligned through the use of a cylinder-forming liquid crystal (LC) diblock copolymer, which is first aligned on a rubbed polyimide substrate. A surface-relief template is produced using the differential dry etch rates of the cylinder-forming component and LC polymer matrix component of the BCP. The template is metalized to produce a WGP. Polarizers of arbitrary size with polarization efficiency up to 0.6 have been made in close agreement with calculated values for idealized structures. The choice of the cylinder-forming polymer is critical to the degree of alignment of the template, and the thermal stability of the LC polymer matrix is critical to the stability of the template during etching.

  3. Self-oscillating AB diblock copolymer developed by post modification strategy

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ueki, Takeshi; Onoda, Michika; Tamate, Ryota; Shibayama, Mitsuhiro; Yoshida, Ryo

    2015-06-01

    We prepared AB diblock copolymer composed of hydrophilic poly(ethylene oxide) segment and self-oscillating polymer segment. In the latter segment, ruthenium tris(2,2'-bipyridine) (Ru(bpy)3), a catalyst of the Belousov-Zhabotinsky reaction, is introduced into the polymer architecture based on N-isopropylacrylamide (NIPAAm). The Ru(bpy)3 was introduced into the polymer segment by two methods; (i) direct random copolymerization (DP) of NIPAAm and Ru(bpy)3 vinyl monomer and (ii) post modification (PM) of Ru(bpy)3 with random copolymer of NIPAAm and N-3-aminopropylmethacrylamide. For both the diblock copolymers, a bistable temperature region (the temperature range; ΔTm), where the block copolymer self-assembles into micelle at reduced Ru(bpy)32+ state whereas it breaks-up into individual polymer chain at oxidized Ru(bpy)33+ state, monotonically extends as the composition of the Ru(bpy)3 increases. The ΔTm of the block copolymer prepared by PM is larger than that by DP. The difference in ΔTm is rationalized from the statistical analysis of the arrangement of the Ru(bpy)3 moiety along the self-oscillating segments. By using the PM method, the well-defined AB diblock copolymer having ΔTm (ca. 25 °C) large enough to cause stable self-oscillation can be prepared. The periodic structural transition of the diblock copolymer in a dilute solution ([Polymer] = 0.1 wt. %) is closely investigated in terms of the time-resolved dynamic light scattering technique at constant temperature in the bistable region. A macroscopic viscosity oscillation of a concentrated polymer solution (15 wt. %) coupled with the periodic microphase separation is also demonstrated.

  4. Self-oscillating AB diblock copolymer developed by post modification strategy

    SciTech Connect

    Ueki, Takeshi E-mail: ryo@cross.t.u-tokyo.ac.jp; Onoda, Michika; Tamate, Ryota; Yoshida, Ryo E-mail: ryo@cross.t.u-tokyo.ac.jp; Shibayama, Mitsuhiro

    2015-06-15

    We prepared AB diblock copolymer composed of hydrophilic poly(ethylene oxide) segment and self-oscillating polymer segment. In the latter segment, ruthenium tris(2,2′-bipyridine) (Ru(bpy){sub 3}), a catalyst of the Belousov-Zhabotinsky reaction, is introduced into the polymer architecture based on N-isopropylacrylamide (NIPAAm). The Ru(bpy){sub 3} was introduced into the polymer segment by two methods; (i) direct random copolymerization (DP) of NIPAAm and Ru(bpy){sub 3} vinyl monomer and (ii) post modification (PM) of Ru(bpy){sub 3} with random copolymer of NIPAAm and N-3-aminopropylmethacrylamide. For both the diblock copolymers, a bistable temperature region (the temperature range; ΔT{sub m}), where the block copolymer self-assembles into micelle at reduced Ru(bpy){sub 3}{sup 2+} state whereas it breaks-up into individual polymer chain at oxidized Ru(bpy){sub 3}{sup 3+} state, monotonically extends as the composition of the Ru(bpy){sub 3} increases. The ΔT{sub m} of the block copolymer prepared by PM is larger than that by DP. The difference in ΔT{sub m} is rationalized from the statistical analysis of the arrangement of the Ru(bpy){sub 3} moiety along the self-oscillating segments. By using the PM method, the well-defined AB diblock copolymer having ΔT{sub m} (ca. 25 °C) large enough to cause stable self-oscillation can be prepared. The periodic structural transition of the diblock copolymer in a dilute solution ([Polymer] = 0.1 wt. %) is closely investigated in terms of the time-resolved dynamic light scattering technique at constant temperature in the bistable region. A macroscopic viscosity oscillation of a concentrated polymer solution (15 wt. %) coupled with the periodic microphase separation is also demonstrated.

  5. Host-guest self-assembly in block copolymer blends.

    PubMed

    Park, Woon Ik; Kim, Yongjoo; Jeong, Jae Won; Kim, Kyungho; Yoo, Jung-Keun; Hur, Yoon Hyung; Kim, Jong Min; Thomas, Edwin L; Alexander-Katz, Alfredo; Jung, Yeon Sik

    2013-01-01

    Ultrafine, uniform nanostructures with excellent functionalities can be formed by self-assembly of block copolymer (BCP) thin films. However, extension of their geometric variability is not straightforward due to their limited thin film morphologies. Here, we report that unusual and spontaneous positioning between host and guest BCP microdomains, even in the absence of H-bond linkages, can create hybridized morphologies that cannot be formed from a neat BCP. Our self-consistent field theory (SCFT) simulation results theoretically support that the precise registration of a spherical BCP microdomain (guest, B-b-C) at the center of a perforated lamellar BCP nanostructure (host, A-b-B) can energetically stabilize the blended morphology. As an exemplary application of the hybrid nanotemplate, a nanoring-type Ge2Sb2Te5 (GST) phase-change memory device with an extremely low switching current is demonstrated. These results suggest the possibility of a new pathway to construct more diverse and complex nanostructures using controlled blending of various BCPs. PMID:24217036

  6. Host-Guest Self-assembly in Block Copolymer Blends

    PubMed Central

    Park, Woon Ik; Kim, YongJoo; Jeong, Jae Won; Kim, Kyungho; Yoo, Jung-Keun; Hur, Yoon Hyung; Kim, Jong Min; Thomas, Edwin L.; Alexander-Katz, Alfredo; Jung, Yeon Sik

    2013-01-01

    Ultrafine, uniform nanostructures with excellent functionalities can be formed by self-assembly of block copolymer (BCP) thin films. However, extension of their geometric variability is not straightforward due to their limited thin film morphologies. Here, we report that unusual and spontaneous positioning between host and guest BCP microdomains, even in the absence of H-bond linkages, can create hybridized morphologies that cannot be formed from a neat BCP. Our self-consistent field theory (SCFT) simulation results theoretically support that the precise registration of a spherical BCP microdomain (guest, B-b-C) at the center of a perforated lamellar BCP nanostructure (host, A-b-B) can energetically stabilize the blended morphology. As an exemplary application of the hybrid nanotemplate, a nanoring-type Ge2Sb2Te5 (GST) phase-change memory device with an extremely low switching current is demonstrated. These results suggest the possibility of a new pathway to construct more diverse and complex nanostructures using controlled blending of various BCPs. PMID:24217036

  7. Effect of molecular properties of block copolymers and nanoparticles on the morphology of self-assembled bulk nanocomposites.

    SciTech Connect

    Lo, C.-T.; Lee, B.; Dietz Rago, N. L.; Seifert, S.; Winans, R. E.; Thiyagarajan, P.

    2007-11-13

    Self-assembly of thiol-terminated polystyrene-tethered Au nanoparticles in microphase-separated diblock copolymers composed of poly(styrene-b-2vinylpyridine) (PS-PVP) as a function of particle concentration and composition of block copolymers was investigated using anomalous small-angle X-ray scattering (ASAXS) and transmission electron microscopy (TEM). Results reveal that the self-assembly of nanoparticles in the PS domain causes swelling and increases the interfacial curvature that, in turn, induces order-order transitions. At intermediate loading, the presence of nanoparticles amplifies the local compositional fluctuations, hence the roughness at the PS and PVP interface, which creates conditions to induce disorder in the polymer morphology. The system thus undergoes an order-disorder transition. At high particle loading, packing constraints prevent all particles from assembling in the PS domain, and the excess nanoparticles undergo macrophase separation. The present systematic study augments experimental data to the scarce literature on the phase behavior of bulk nanocomposites. We present a generalized phase map for the bulk composites as a function of effective volume fraction of PS (F{sub PS}) for a given nanoparticle size. We believe that the results from this study will enable comparison of the phase maps from various studies and will serve to validate the simulation studies of inorganic particle/block copolymer composites.

  8. Polyelectrolyte Diblock Copolymer Micelles: Small Angle Scattering Estimates of the Charge Ordering in the Coronal Layer

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    van der Maarel, Johan R. C.

    Amphiphilic diblock copolymers with a polyelectrolyte block comprise two linearly attached moieties: a charged and a hydrophobic chain part. Owing to their specific properties and the increased need of water supported poly- mer materials, these copolymers have found widespread applications from the stabilization of colloidal suspensions, through encapsulation and delivery of bioactive agents, to the control of gelation, lubrication, and flow behavior [1,2]. Besides these technological applications, progress in this area also has implica- tions for biophysics. Polyelectrolyte brushes are a model system for the exter- nal envelope of certain microorganisms (glycocalix) and are thought to play a role in, e.g., cell recognition and cushioning properties of synovial fluid [3, 4]. The hydrophobic attachment provides a mechanism for self-assembling of the copolymers into units of mesoscopic size, which are large compared to the molecular dimensions. Major factors controlling the self-assembled structures are solvent composition, charge, ionic strength, and chemical nature and the respective sizes of the blocks. For ionic diblocks of poly(styrene-block-acrylate) (PS-b-PA) with a polyelectrolyte (PA) block length smaller than the length of the polystyrene (PS) block, a multitude of different "crew-cut" structures has been observed by Eisenberg and coworkers [5-7].

  9. Worm-like micelles in water solutions of 1, 4 poly (1, 3-butadiene)-polyethylene oxide diblock copolymer.

    PubMed

    Arenas-Gómez, Brisa; Vinceković, Marko; Garza, Cristina; Castillo, Rolando

    2014-06-01

    The main purpose of this study is to determine for the first time the structure of the self-assembled aggregates in the system made of 1,4 poly(1,3-butadiene)-polyethylene oxide diblock copolymer (IUPAC name: poly(but-2-ene-1,4-diyl)-block-polyoxyethylene) and water, and the rheological behavior of the solution. The degree of polymerization of the polybutadiene and polyethylene oxide blocks is 37 and 45, respectively. The diblock copolymer concentration was limited to be ≤2.5 wt% to avoid phase separation. Small X-ray scattering revealed that the diblock copolymer self-assembles in worm-like micelles with a diameter of ∼ 12 nm. This system does not closely follow the rheological behavior of worm-like micelle solutions made of typical surfactants. The system steadily shear thins reaching very low viscosity values at large shear rates, however there are not shear-thickening peaks. In thixotropic loops, the micellar solution does not present hysteresis. The viscoelastic spectra do not follow the Maxwell model at low and intermediate frequencies. This uncommon behavior for a worm-like micellar system is explained by the slow dynamics of the self-assembly. The extremely high hydrophobicity of the polybutadiene block does not allow any micellar rearrangement. PMID:24965154

  10. Polythiophene-block-Polyfluorene and Polythiophene-block-Poly(fluorene-co-benzothiadiazole): insights into the self-assembly of all-conjugated block copolymers

    SciTech Connect

    Verduzco, Rafael; Botiz, Ioan; Dimasi, Elaine; Pickel, Deanna L; Hong, Kunlun; Kilbey, II, S Michael; Darling, Seth B.

    2011-01-01

    Block copolymers made by covalently linking two or more conjugated polymers have significant potential for organic optoelectronic applications, particularly those requiring a p/n junction. Herein, we report the structure of all-conjugated diblock copolymers poly(3-hexylthiophene)-block-poly(9,9-dioctylfluorene) and poly(3-hexylthiophene)-block-poly(9,9-dioctylfluorene-co-benzothiadiazole) in thin films and in the bulk. The diblock copolymers are prepared using a combination of Grignard metathesis polymerization and Suzuki polycondensation and purified using solvent extraction and column chromatography. 1H NMR, SEC, and UV/Visible absorbance measurements are used to characterize the materials and quantify the amount of homopolymer impurities. Thin films and bulk structure are characterized using a combination of differential scanning calorimetry, x-ray diffraction, small-angle x-ray scattering, and atomic force microscopy. Atomic force microscopy images reveal nanoscale lamellar domains in solvent-annealed diblock copolymer thin films, and peaks in x-ray diffraction data correspond to poly(3-hexylthiophene) crystallites. On cooling from temperatures above the crystallization temperature to below the crystallization temperature, two peaks appear in temperature-dependent small-angle x-ray scattering traces - one associated with poly(3-hexylthiophene) crystallites and a second low-angle peak indicative of a self-assembled nanostructured. These measurements show all-conjugated diblock copolymers self-assemble into nanoscale crystalline domains present throughout the bulk samples which may be useful for improving the performance of organic photovoltaics and organic light-emitting diodes.

  11. Postmodification of PS-b-P4VP diblock copolymer membranes by ARGET ATRP.

    PubMed

    Keskin, Damla; Clodt, Juliana I; Hahn, Janina; Abetz, Volker; Filiz, Volkan

    2014-07-29

    The surfaces of polystyrene-block-poly(4-vinylpyridine) (PS-b-P4VP) diblock copolymer membranes were modified in order to obtain polymer brushes by using surface-initiated activators regenerated by electron transfer atom transfer radical polymerization (ARGET ATRP). Isoporous membranes were prepared by the combination of self-assembly of PS-b-P4VP diblock copolymers and the nonsolvent induced phase separation process, also known as "phase inversion". In order to allow further functionalization, the membranes were modified with an ATRP initiator, 2-bromoisobutyryl bromide (BIBB). Therefore, the mussel-inspired poly(dopamine) coating was used to attach BIBB on the membranes surface. In the next step the coated membranes were postmodified by using surface-initiated ARGET ATRP with the hydrophilic monomer 2-hydroxyethyl methacrylate (HEMA). HEMA as a hydrophilic methacrylate was chosen for the modification in order to enhance the membrane characteristics and to obtain a surface with antifouling properties. The surface-initiated ARGET ATRP reaction was carried out using different reaction times and environments. PHEMA could successfully incorporate on the membrane surface as confirmed by attenuated total reflection Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (ATR-FTIR), (1)H nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy ((1)H NMR), scanning electron microscopy (SEM), and contact angle measurements. Furthermore, stability tests against heat and solvents were performed, and water flux was measured for the raw and modified membranes. Stability against heat and hydrophilicity could be increased with this type of modification for diblock copolymer membranes. PMID:24948370

  12. Complexation Between Cationic Diblock Copolymers and Plasmid DNA

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Jung, Seyoung; Reineke, Theresa; Lodge, Timothy

    Deoxyribonucleic acids (DNA), as polyanions, can spontaneously bind with polycations to form polyelectrolyte complexes. When the polycation is a diblock copolymer with one cationic block and one uncharged hydrophilic block, the polyelectrolyte complexes formed with plasmid DNA (pDNA) are often colloidally stable, and show great promise in the field of polymeric gene therapy. While the resulting properties (size, stability, and toxicity to biological systems) of the complexes have been studied for numerous cationic diblocks, the fundamentals of the pDNA-diblock binding process have not been extensively investigated. Herein, we report how the cationic block content of a diblock influences the pDNA-diblock interactions. pDNA with 7164 base pairs and poly(2-deoxy-2-methacrylamido glucopyranose)-block-poly(N-(2-aminoethyl) methacrylamide) (PMAG-b-PAEMA) are used as the model pDNA and cationic diblock, respectively. To vary the cationic block content, two PMAG-b-PAEMA copolymers with similar PMAG block lengths but distinct PAEMA block lengths and a PAEMA homopolymer are utilized. We show that the enthalpy change from pDNA-diblock interactions is dependent on the cationic diblock composition, and is closely associated with both the binding strength and the pDNA tertiary structure.

  13. Enveloping self-assembly of carbon nanotubes at copolymer micelle cores.

    PubMed

    Arras, Matthias M L; Schillai, Christoph; Jandt, Klaus D

    2014-12-01

    Carbon nanotubes (CNTs) and their polymer nanocomposites are interesting materials for future applications, for example in optics or electronics. Research faces two major challenges with these outstanding nanofillers: control over dispersion and spatial arrangement within the nanocomposite, both required to achieve optimal structure and properties of CNT-based nanocomposites. We report on novel self-assembled multiwall CNT (MWCNT)/block copolymer (BCP) nanostructures realized by patterning MWCNTs with amphilphilic diblock copolymer micelles. A high molecular weight poly(styrene)-b-poly(2-vinylpyridine) BCP which forms large micelles (250 nm) was chosen to facilitate the templating by reducing the bending energy induced in the MWCNTs. We tested the hypothesis that it is possible to use an amphiphilic BCP as a dispersing agent and its spherical micelles as a template at the same time without modification of the CNTs. In thin films of the MWCNT/BCP micelles, highly separated MWCNTs were repeatedly observed which enveloped the core of the BCP micelles, i.e., the unfunctionalized MWCNTs segregated to the interface between the two BCP phases. Depending on the size of the MWCNTs, ring-like (split-ring) or network forming structures were obtained. The MWCNT templating mechanism, i.e., the segregation to the interface, is explained by the interfacial tension within the BCP interface and the chain entropy. The reported new complex nanocomposite has potential to be applied for example as cost-effective split-ring resonators for metamaterials or for conductive polymer films with an extremely low percolation threshold. PMID:25361699

  14. Disulfide-Functionalized Diblock Copolymer Worm Gels.

    PubMed

    Warren, Nicholas J; Rosselgong, Julien; Madsen, Jeppe; Armes, Steven P

    2015-08-10

    Two strategies for introducing disulfide groups at the outer surface of RAFT-synthesized poly(glycerol monomethacrylate)-poly(2-hydroxypropyl methacrylate) (PGMA-PHPMA, or Gx-Hy for brevity) diblock copolymer worms are investigated. The first approach involved statistical copolymerization of GMA with a small amount of disulfide dimethacrylate (DSDMA, or D) comonomer to afford a G54-D0.50 macromolecular chain transfer agent (macro-CTA); this synthesis was conducted in relatively dilute solution in order to ensure mainly intramolecular cyclization and hence the formation of linear chains. Alternatively, a new disulfide-based bifunctional RAFT agent (DSDB) was used to prepare a G45-S-S-G45 (or (G45-S)2) macro-CTA. A binary mixture of a non-functionalized G55 macro-CTA was utilized with each of these two disulfide-based macro-CTAs in turn for the RAFT aqueous dispersion polymerization of 2-hydroxypropyl methacrylate (HPMA). By targeting a PHPMA DP of 130 and systematically varying the molar ratio of the two macro-CTAs, a series of disulfide-functionalized diblock copolymer worm gels were obtained. For both formulations, oscillatory rheology studies confirmed that higher disulfide contents led to stronger gels, presumably as a result of inter-worm covalent bond formation via disulfide/thiol exchange. Using the DSDB-based macro-CTA led to the strongest worm gels, and this formulation also proved to be more effective in suppressing the thermosensitive behavior that is observed for the nondisulfide-functionalized control worm gel. However, macroscopic precipitation occurred when the proportion of DSDB-based macro-CTA was increased to 50 mol %, whereas the DSDMA-based macro-CTA could be utilized at up to 80 mol %. Finally, the worm gel modulus could be reduced to that of a nondisulfide-containing worm gel by reductive cleavage of the inter-worm disulfide bonds using excess tris(2-carboxyethyl)phosphine (TCEP) to yield thiol groups. These new biomimetic worm gels are

  15. Charge Effects on the Self-Assembly of Protein Block Copolymer Nanostructures

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Olsen, Bradley

    Self-assembly of globular protein-polymer block copolymers into nanostructured phases provides a simple method for structural control in biomaterials. Electrostatics play a major role in the self-assembly of these structures from aqueous solutions. While the specific distribution of charge on the protein plays a relatively minor role in self-assembly, large changes in the total charge have a large impact on the concentration at which the proteins self-assemble. While for near-neutral proteins salt screening promotes disassembly and suggests that electrostatic interactions are attractive, proteins with a highly asymmetric charge have repulsive interactions that suppress self-assembly. Using a zwitterionic block in the bioconjugate was also explored as a means to promote self-assembly; however, zwitterionic fusions self-assemble over a narrower range of composition than fusions of any of the nonionic polymers explored. This suggests that dipolar attractions in charge-asymmetric protein-polymer materials play a significant role in the driving force for self-assembly. However, the sensitivity of zwitterionic materials to salt conditions in the buffer also provides a powerful handle for tuning polymer solubility, enabling salt to be used as a method to induce self-assembly.

  16. Multiple patterns of diblock copolymer confined in irregular geometries with soft surface

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Li, Ying; Sun, Min-Na; Zhang, Jin-Jun; Pan, Jun-Xing; Guo, Yu-Qi; Wang, Bao-Feng; Wu, Hai-Shun

    2015-12-01

    The different confinement shapes can induce the formation of various interesting and novel morphologies, which might inspire potential applications of materials. In this paper, we study the directed self-assembly of diblock copolymer confined in irregular geometries with a soft surface by using self-consistent field theory. Two types of confinement geometries are considered, namely, one is the concave pore with one groove and the other is the concave pore with two grooves. We obtain more novel and different structures which could not be produced in other two-dimensional (2D) confinements. Comparing these new structures with those obtained in regular square confinement, we find that the range of ordered lamellae is enlarged and the range of disordered structure is narrowed down under the concave pore confinement. We also compare the different structures obtained under the two types of confinement geometries, the results show that the effect of confinement would increase, which might induce the diblock copolymer to form novel structures. We construct the phase diagram as a function of the fraction of B block and the ratio of h/L of the groove. The simulation reveals that the wetting effect of brushes and the shape of confinement geometries play important roles in determining the morphologies of the system. Our results improve the applications in the directed self-assembly of diblock copolymer for fabricating the irregular structures. Project supported by the Specialized Research Fund for the Doctoral Program of Higher Education of China (Grant No. 20121404110004), the Research Foundation for Excellent Talents of Shanxi Provincial Department of Human Resources and Social Security, China, and the Scientific and Technological Innovation Programs of Higher Education Institutions in Shanxi Province, China.

  17. Molecular Exchange in Ordered Diblock Copolymer Micelles

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Choi, Soo-Hyung; Lodge, Timothy; Bates, Frank

    2011-03-01

    Previously, molecular exchange between spherical micelles in dilute solution (1 vol% polymer) was investigated using time-resolved small-angle neutron scattering (TR-SANS). As the concentration of spherical micelles formed by the diblock copolymers increases, the micelles begin to overlap and eventually pack onto body-centered cubic (BCC) lattice. In this study, concentrated, ordered micelles (15 vol% polymers) prepared by dispersing isotopically labeled poly(styrene- b -ethylene-alt-propylene) in an isotopic squalane mixture was investigated to understand the micellar concentration dependence of the molecular exchange. Perfectly random mixing of isotopically labeled micelles on the BCC lattice was confirmed by SANS patterns where the interparticle contribution vanishes, resulting in an intensity that directly relates to the exchange kinetics. The measured molecular exchange process for the concentrated, ordered system is qualitatively consistent with the previous observations, but the rate is more than an order of magnitude slower than that for the dilute, disordered system. Infineum(IPrime), MRSEC(NSF), NIST.

  18. Structure of Poly(styrene-b-ethylene-alt-propylene) Diblock Copolymer Micelles in Squalane

    SciTech Connect

    Choi, Soo-Hyung; Bates, Frank S.; Lodge, Timothy P.

    2009-11-04

    The temperature dependence of the micellar structures formed by poly(styrene-b-ethylene-alt-propylene) (SEP) diblock copolymers in squalane, a highly selective solvent for the PEP blocks, has been studied using dynamic light scattering (DLS) and small-angle X-ray scattering (SAXS). Four SEP diblock copolymers were prepared by sequential anionic polymerization of styrene and isoprene, followed by hydrogenation of the isoprene blocks, to yield SEP(17-73), SEP(26-66), SEP(36-69), and SEP(42-60), where the numbers indicate block molecular weights in kDa. All four polymers formed well-defined spherical micelles. In dilute solution, DLS provided the temperature-dependent mean hydrodynamic radius, R{sub h}, and its distribution, while detailed fitting of the SAXS profiles gave the core radius, R{sub c}, the equivalent hard sphere radius, R{sub hs}, and an estimate of the aggregation number, N{sub agg}. In general, the micelles became smaller as the critical micelle temperature (CMT) was approached, which was well above the glass transition of the core block. As concentration increased the micelles packed onto body centered cubic lattices for all four copolymers, which underwent order-disorder transitions upon heating near the dilute solution CMTs. The results are discussed in terms of current understanding of block copolymer solution self-assembly, and particular attention is paid to the issue of equilibration, given the high glass transition temperature of the core block.

  19. Monte Carlo Study of Degenerate Behavior of AB Diblock Copolymer/Nanoparticle under Cylindrical Confinement.

    PubMed

    Wang, Yingying; Han, Yuanyuan; Cui, Jie; Jiang, Wei; Sun, Yingchun

    2016-08-23

    Degenerate behavior (i.e., forming different self-assembled structures for a given block copolymer (BCP) under the same confinement) commonly exists in various confined systems. Understanding degenerate behavior is crucial for precise control over the structures formed by self-assembly systems under confinement. In this study, the degenerate behavior of a self-assembled AB diblock copolymer/nanoparticle (NP) mixture in a cylindrical pore is studied using Monte Carlo simulation. We find that the degenerate behavior of such a mixture depends on the introduction of the NP. Under different pore sizes, four typical degenerate structures [i.e., single helices (S-helices), double helices (D-helices), parallel cylinders, and stacked toroids] can be obtained if the NP content is zero. However, when the NP content in the mixture is increased, it is found that the number of degenerate structures decreases, that is, only blocky structures can be obtained in the case of high NP content. Moreover, the probability of forming S-helices decreases, whereas the probability of forming D-helices increases with increase in the NP content. Analysis of the interactive enthalpy densities and the chain conformation of the systems indicates that entropy plays an important role in the degenerate structure formation. This study provides some new insights into the degenerate behavior of a BCP/NP mixture under confinement, which can offer a theoretical reference for further experiments. PMID:27459708

  20. Self-Assembled Asymmetric Block Copolymer Membranes: Bridging the Gap from Ultra- to Nanofiltration.

    PubMed

    Yu, Haizhou; Qiu, Xiaoyan; Moreno, Nicolas; Ma, Zengwei; Calo, Victor Manuel; Nunes, Suzana P; Peinemann, Klaus-Viktor

    2015-11-16

    The self-assembly of block copolymers is an emerging strategy to produce isoporous ultrafiltration membranes. However, thus far, it has not been possible to bridge the gap from ultra- to nanofiltration and decrease the pore size of self-assembled block copolymer membranes to below 5 nm without post-treatment. It is now reported that the self-assembly of blends of two chemically interacting copolymers can lead to highly porous membranes with pore diameters as small as 1.5 nm. The membrane containing an ultraporous, 60 nm thin separation layer can fully reject solutes with molecular weights of 600 g mol(-1) in aqueous solutions with a water flux that is more than one order of magnitude higher than the permeance of commercial nanofiltration membranes. Simulations of the membrane formation process by dissipative particle dynamics (DPD) were used to explain the dramatic observed pore size reduction combined with an increase in water flux. PMID:26388216

  1. Rapidly recovering hydrogel scaffolds from self-assembling diblock copolypeptide amphiphiles

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Nowak, Andrew P.; Breedveld, Victor; Pakstis, Lisa; Ozbas, Bulent; Pine, David J.; Pochan, Darrin; Deming, Timothy J.

    2002-05-01

    Protein-based hydrogels are used for many applications, ranging from food and cosmetic thickeners to support matrices for drug delivery and tissue replacement. These materials are usually prepared using proteins extracted from natural sources, which can give rise to inconsistent properties unsuitable for medical applications. Recent developments have utilized recombinant DNA methods to prepare artificial protein hydrogels with specific association mechanisms and responsiveness to various stimuli. Here we synthesize diblock copolypeptide amphiphiles containing charged and hydrophobic segments. Dilute solutions of these copolypeptides would be expected to form micelles; instead, they form hydrogels that retain their mechanical strength up to temperatures of about 90°C and recover rapidly after stress. The use of synthetic materials permits adjustment of copolymer chain length and composition, which we varied to study their effect on hydrogel formation and properties. We find that gelation depends not only on the amphiphilic nature of the polypeptides, but also on chain conformations-α-helix, β-strand or random coil. Indeed, shape-specific supramolecular assembly is integral to the gelation process, and provides a new class of peptide-based hydrogels with potential for applications in biotechnology.

  2. Relaxation processes in a lower disorder order transition diblock copolymer

    SciTech Connect

    Sanz, Alejandro; Ezquerra, Tiberio A.; Nogales, Aurora

    2015-02-14

    The dynamics of lower disorder-order temperature diblock copolymer leading to phase separation has been observed by X ray photon correlation spectroscopy. Two different modes have been characterized. A non-diffusive mode appears at temperatures below the disorder to order transition, which can be associated to compositional fluctuations, that becomes slower as the interaction parameter increases, in a similar way to the one observed for diblock copolymers exhibiting phase separation upon cooling. At temperatures above the disorder to order transition T{sub ODT}, the dynamics becomes diffusive, indicating that after phase separation in Lower Disorder-Order Transition (LDOT) diblock copolymers, the diffusion of chain segments across the interface is the governing dynamics. As the segregation is stronger, the diffusive process becomes slower. Both observed modes have been predicted by the theory describing upper order-disorder transition systems, assuming incompressibility. However, the present results indicate that the existence of these two modes is more universal as they are present also in compressible diblock copolymers exhibiting a lower disorder-order transition. No such a theory describing the dynamics in LDOT block copolymers is available, and these experimental results may offer some hints to understanding the dynamics in these systems. The dynamics has also been studied in the ordered state, and for the present system, the non-diffusive mode disappears and only a diffusive mode is observed. This mode is related to the transport of segment in the interphase, due to the weak segregation on this system.

  3. Super Helix Formation From a Partially Charged Diblock Copolymer

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Murnen, Hannah K.; Rosales, Adrianne M.; Zuckermann, Ron N.; Segalman, Rachel A.

    2010-03-01

    Polypeptoids, or N-substituted glycines, are a simplified biomimetic platform designed to combine attributes of biological polymers such as sequence specificity with the potential for hierarchical self assembly inherent to synthetic polymers. In this study, the aqueous self-assembly of a monodisperse partially charged amphiphilic diblock copolypeptoid is shown to result in giant super helices with diameters of approximately 615 nm and lengths ranging from 2-20 um. These structures are highly unusual in several ways including their large size, hierarchical structure, and homochirality. Sequence specific chemical modifications coupled with x-ray scattering have led to a model of self-assembly whereby lamellar stacks roll up to produce the large supramolecular structure. In order to understand the effect of charge density and location on the self-assembly process a series of polymers were synthesized pinpointing the charge to specific chain locations and varying the overall amount of available charge. While location of the negative charges is found to have a minimal effect on the self-assembly process, charge density is shown to have an important role. This role is complex, involving both electrostatic and hydrogen bond effects.

  4. Bimetallic PdAg nanoparticle arrays from monolayer films of diblock copolymer micelles

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ehret, E.; Beyou, E.; Mamontov, G. V.; Bugrova, T. A.; Prakash, S.; Aouine, M.; Domenichini, B.; Cadete Santos Aires, F. J.

    2015-07-01

    The self-assembly technique provides a highly efficient route to generate well-ordered structures on a nanometer scale. In this paper, well-ordered arrays of PdAg alloy nanoparticles on flat substrates with narrow distributions of particle size (6-7 nm) and interparticle spacing (about 60 nm) were synthesized by the block copolymer micelle approach. A home-made PS-b-P4VP diblock copolymer was prepared to obtain a micellar structure in toluene. Pd and Ag salts were then successfully loaded in the micellar core of the PS-b-P4VP copolymer. A self-assembled monolayer of the loaded micelles was obtained by dipping the flat substrate in the solution. At this stage, the core of the micelles was still loaded with the metal precursor rather than with a metal. Physical and chemical reducing methods were used to reduce the metal salts embedded in the P4VP core into PdAg nanoparticles. HRTEM and EDX indicated that Pd-rich PdAg alloy nanoparticles were synthesized by chemical or physical reduction; UV-visible spectroscopy observations confirmed that metallic PdAg nanoparticles were quickly formed after chemical reduction; XPS measurements revealed that the PdAg alloy nanoparticles were in a metallic state after a short time of exposure to O2 plasma and after hydrazine reduction.

  5. Highly Ordered Structure Formation in RAFT-Synthesized PtBOS-b-P4VP Diblock Copolymers.

    PubMed

    Faber, Martin; Hofman, Anton H; Loos, Katja; Brinke, Gerrit Ten

    2016-06-01

    Linear poly(4-tert-butoxystyrene)-b-poly(4-vinylpyridine) (PtBOS-b-P4VP) diblock copolymers are synthesized using reversible addition-fragmentation chain transfer polymerization. The self-assembly of four different PtBOS-b-P4VP diblock copolymers is studied using small-angle X-ray scattering and transmission electron microscopy and a number of interesting observations are made. A tBOS62 -b-4VP28 diblock copolymer with a weight fraction P4VP of 0.21 shows a disordered morphology of P4VP spheres with liquid-like short-range order despite an estimated value of χN of the order of 50. Increasing the length of the 4VP block to tBOS62 -b-4VP199 results in a diblock copolymer with a weight fraction P4VP of 0.66. It forms a remarkably well-ordered lamellar structure. Likewise, a tBOS146 -b-4VP120 diblock copolymer with a weight fraction P4VP of 0.33 forms an extremely well-ordered hexagonal structure of P4VP cylinders. Increasing the P4VP block of this block copolymer to tBOS146 -b-4VP190 with a weight fraction P4VP of 0.44 results in a bicontinuous gyroid morphology despite the estimated strong segregation of χN≅150. These results are discussed in terms of the architectural dissimilarity of the two monomers, characterized by the presence of the large side group of PtBOS, and the previously reported value of the interaction parameter, χ≅0.39, for this polymer pair. PMID:27079547

  6. Block Copolymer Directed Self-Assembly Approaches for Doping Planar and Non-Planar Semiconductors

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Popere, Bhooshan; Russ, Boris; Heitsch, Andrew; Trefonas, Peter; Segalman, Rachel

    As electronic circuits continue to shrink, reliable nanoscale doping of functional devices presents new challenges. While directed self-assembly (DSA) of block copolymers (BCPs) has enabled excellent pitch control for lithography, controlling the 3D dopant distribution remains a fundamental challenge. To this end, we have developed a BCP self-assembly approach to confine dopants to nanoscopic domains within a semiconductor. This relies on the supramolecular encapsulation of the dopants within the core of the block copolymer (PS- b-P4VP) micelles, self-assembly of these micelles on the substrate, followed by rapid thermal diffusion of the dopants into the underlying substrate. We show that the periodic nature of the BCP domains enables precise control over the dosage and spatial position of dopant atoms on the technologically relevant length scales (10-100 nm). Additionally, as the lateral density of 2D circuit elements approaches the Moore's limit, novel 3D architectures have emerged. We have utilized our BCP self-assembly approach towards understanding the self-assembly our micelles directed by such nanoscale non-planar features. We show that the geometric confinement imposed by the hard feature walls directs the assembly of these micelles.

  7. Directed Self-Assembly of Triblock Copolymer on Chemical Patterns for Sub-10-nm Nanofabrication via Solvent Annealing.

    PubMed

    Xiong, Shisheng; Wan, Lei; Ishida, Yoshihito; Chapuis, Yves-Andre; Craig, Gordon S W; Ruiz, Ricardo; Nealey, Paul F

    2016-08-23

    Directed self-assembly (DSA) of block copolymers (BCPs) is a leading strategy to pattern at sublithographic resolution in the technology roadmap for semiconductors and is the only known solution to fabricate nanoimprint templates for the production of bit pattern media. While great progress has been made to implement block copolymer lithography with features in the range of 10-20 nm, patterning solutions below 10 nm are still not mature. Many BCP systems self-assemble at this length scale, but challenges remain in simultaneously tuning the interfacial energy atop the film to control the orientation of BCP domains, designing materials, templates, and processes for ultra-high-density DSA, and establishing a robust pattern transfer strategy. Among the various solutions to achieve domains that are perpendicular to the substrate, solvent annealing is advantageous because it is a versatile method that can be applied to a diversity of materials. Here we report a DSA process based on chemical contrast templates and solvent annealing to fabricate 8 nm features on a 16 nm pitch. To make this possible, a number of innovations were brought in concert with a common platform: (1) assembling the BCP in the phase-separated, solvated state, (2) identifying a larger process window for solvated triblock vs diblock BCPs as a function of solvent volume fraction, (3) employing templates for sub-10-nm BCP systems accessible by lithography, and (4) integrating a robust pattern transfer strategy by vapor infiltration of organometallic precursors for selective metal oxide synthesis to prepare an inorganic hard mask. PMID:27482932

  8. Periodic nanostructures from self assembled wedge-type block-copolymers

    SciTech Connect

    Xia, Yan; Sveinbjornsson, Benjamin R.; Grubbs, Robert H.; Weitekamp, Raymond; Miyake, Garret M.; Piunova, Victoria; Daeffler, Christopher Scot

    2015-06-02

    The invention provides a class of wedge-type block copolymers having a plurality of chemically different blocks, at least a portion of which incorporates a wedge group-containing block providing useful properties. For example, use of one or more wedge group-containing blocks in some block copolymers of the invention significantly inhibits chain entanglement and, thus, the present block copolymers materials provide a class of polymer materials capable of efficient molecular self-assembly to generate a range of structures, such as periodic nanostructures and microstructures. Materials of the present invention include copolymers having one or more wedge group-containing blocks, and optionally for some applications copolymers also incorporating one or more polymer side group-containing blocks. The present invention also provides useful methods of making and using wedge-type block copolymers.

  9. Graphoepitaxy of self-assembled block copolymers on two-dimensional periodic patterned templates.

    PubMed

    Bita, Ion; Yang, Joel K W; Jung, Yeon Sik; Ross, Caroline A; Thomas, Edwin L; Berggren, Karl K

    2008-08-15

    Self-assembling materials are the building blocks of bottom-up nanofabrication processes, but they need to be templated to impose long-range order and eliminate defects. In this work, the self-assembly of a thin film of a spherical-morphology block copolymer is templated using an array of nanoscale topographical elements that act as surrogates for the minority domains of the block copolymer. The orientation and periodicity of the resulting array of spherical microdomains are governed by the commensurability between the block copolymer period and the template period and is accurately described by a free-energy model. This method, which forms high-spatial-frequency arrays using a lower-spatial-frequency template, will be useful in nanolithography applications such as the formation of high-density microelectronic structures. PMID:18703736

  10. Selective directed self-assembly of coexisting morphologies using block copolymer blends

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Stein, A.; Wright, G.; Yager, K. G.; Doerk, G. S.; Black, C. T.

    2016-08-01

    Directed self-assembly (DSA) of block copolymers is an emergent technique for nano-lithography, but is limited in the range of structures possible in a single fabrication step. Here we expand on traditional DSA chemical patterning. A blend of lamellar- and cylinder-forming block copolymers assembles on specially designed surface chemical line gratings, leading to the simultaneous formation of coexisting ordered morphologies in separate areas of the substrate. The competing energetics of polymer chain distortions and chemical mismatch with the substrate grating bias the system towards either line/space or dot array patterns, depending on the pitch and linewidth of the prepattern. This is in contrast to the typical DSA, wherein assembly of a single-component block copolymer on chemical templates generates patterns of either lines/spaces (lamellar) or hexagonal dot arrays (cylinders). In our approach, the chemical template encodes desired local spatial arrangements of coexisting design motifs, self-assembled from a single, sophisticated resist.

  11. Nanopatterned Protein Films Directed by Ionic Complexation with Water-Soluble Diblock Copolymers

    PubMed Central

    Kim, Bokyung; Lam, Christopher N.; Olsen, Bradley D.

    2014-01-01

    The use of ionic interactions to direct both protein templating and block copolymer self-assembly into nanopatterned films with only aqueous processing conditions is demonstrated using block copolymers containing both thermally responsive and pH responsive blocks. Controlled reversible addition-fragmentation chain-transfer (RAFT) polymerization is employed to synthesize poly(N-isopropylacrylamide-b-2-(dimethylamino)ethyl acrylate) (PNIPAM-b-PDMAEA) diblock copolymers. The pH-dependent ionic complexation between the fluorescent protein, mCherry, and the ionic PDMAEA block is established using dynamic light scattering (DLS) and UV-Vis spectroscopy. DLS shows that the size of the resulting coacervate micelles depends strongly on pH, while UV-Vis spectroscopy shows a correlation between the protein’s absorption maximum and the ionic microenvironment. Zeta potential measurements clearly indicate the ionic nature of the complex-forming interactions. Spin casting was used to prepare nanostructured films from the protein-block copolymer coacervates. After film formation, the lower critical solution temperature (LCST) of the PNIPAM blocks allows the nanomaterial to be effectively immobilized in aqueous environments at physiological temperatures, enabling potential use as a controlled protein release material or polymer matrix for protein immobilization. At pH 9.2 and 7.8, the release rates are at least 10 times faster than that at pH 6.4 due to weaker interaction between protein and PNIPAM-b-PDMAEA (PND) diblock copolymer. Due to the ionic environment in which protein is confined, the majority of the protein (80%) remains active, independent of pH, even after having been dehydrated in vacuum and confined in the films. PMID:24904186

  12. Sequential Block Copolymer Self-Assemblies Controlled by Metal-Ligand Stoichiometry.

    PubMed

    Yin, Liyuan; Wu, Hongwei; Zhu, Mingjie; Zou, Qi; Yan, Qiang; Zhu, Liangliang

    2016-06-28

    While numerous efforts have been devoted to developing easy-to-use probes based on block copolymers for detecting analytes due to their advantages in the fields of self-assembly and sensing, a progressive response on block copolymers in response to a continuing chemical event is not readily achievable. Herein, we report the self-assembly of a 4-piperazinyl-1,8-naphthalimide based functional block copolymer (PS-b-PN), whose self-assembly and photophysics can be controlled by the stoichiometry-dependent metal-ligand interaction upon the side chain. The work takes advantages of (1) stoichiometry-controlled coordination-structural transformation of the piperazinyl moiety on PS-b-PN toward Fe(3+) ions, thereby resulting in a shrinkage-expansion conversion of the self-assembled nanostructures in solution as well as in thin film, and (2) stoichiometry-controlled competition between photoinduced electron transfer and spin-orbital coupling process upon naphthalimide fluorophore leading to a boost-decline emission change of the system. Except Fe(3+) ions, such a stoichiometry-dependent returnable property cannot be observed in the presence of other transition ions. The strategy for realizing the dual-channel sequential response on the basis of the progressively alterable nanomorphologies and emissions might provide deeper insights for the further development of advanced polymeric sensors. PMID:27275516

  13. Liquid-crystalline ordering helps block copolymer self-assembly.

    PubMed

    Yu, Haifeng; Kobayashi, Takaomi; Yang, Huai

    2011-08-01

    Interaction between liquid-crystalline elastic deformation and microphase separation in liquid-crystalline block copolymers enables them to supramolecularly assemble into ordered nanostructures with high regularity. With the help of liquid-crystalline alignment, parallel and perpendicular patterning of nanostructures is fabricated with excellent reproducibility and mass production, which provides nanotemplates and nanofabrication processes for preparing varieties of nanomaterials. Furthermore, nanoscale microphase separation improves the optical performance of block-copolymer fi lms by eliminating the scattering of visible light, leading to advanced applications in optical devices and actuators. Recent progress in liquid-crystalline block copolymers, including their phase diagram, structure-property relationship, nanostructure control and nanotemplate applications, is reviewed. PMID:21910267

  14. Self-assembly of ABC triblock copolymers under 3D soft confinement: a Monte Carlo study.

    PubMed

    Yan, Nan; Zhu, Yutian; Jiang, Wei

    2016-01-21

    Under three-dimensional (3D) soft confinement, block copolymers can self-assemble into unique nanostructures that cannot be fabricated in an un-confined space. Linear ABC triblock copolymers containing three chemically distinct polymer blocks possess relatively complex chain architecture, which can be a promising candidate for the 3D confined self-assembly. In the current study, the Monte Carlo technique was applied in a lattice model to study the self-assembly of ABC triblock copolymers under 3D soft confinement, which corresponds to the self-assembly of block copolymers confined in emulsion droplets. We demonstrated how to create various nanostructures by tuning the symmetry of ABC triblock copolymers, the incompatibilities between different block types, and solvent properties. Besides common pupa-like and bud-like nanostructures, our simulations predicted various unique self-assembled nanostructures, including a striped-pattern nanoparticle with intertwined A-cages and C-cages, a pyramid-like nanoparticle with four Janus B-C lamellae adhered onto its four surfaces, an ellipsoidal nanoparticle with a dumbbell-like A-core and two Janus B-C lamellae and a Janus B-C ring surrounding the A-core, a spherical nanoparticle with a A-core and a helical Janus B-C stripe around the A-core, a cubic nanoparticle with a cube-shape A-core and six Janus B-C lamellae adhered onto the surfaces of the A-cube, and a spherical nanoparticle with helical A, B and C structures, from the 3D confined self-assembly of ABC triblock copolymers. Moreover, the formation mechanisms of some typical nanostructures were also examined by the variations of the contact numbers with time and a series of snapshots at different Monte Carlo times. It is found that ABC triblock copolymers usually aggregate into a loose aggregate at first, and then the microphase separation between A, B and C blocks occurs, resulting in the formation of various nanostructures. PMID:26571300

  15. Direct synthesis of inverse hexagonally ordered diblock copolymer/polyoxometalate nanocomposite films.

    PubMed

    Lunkenbein, Thomas; Kamperman, Marleen; Li, Zihui; Bojer, Carina; Drechsler, Markus; Förster, Stephan; Wiesner, Ulrich; Müller, Axel H E; Breu, Josef

    2012-08-01

    Nanostructured inverse hexagonal polyoxometalate composite films were cast directly from solution using poly(butadiene-block-2-(dimethylamino)ethyl methacrylate) (PB-b-PDMAEMA) diblock copolymers as structure directing agents for phosphomolybdic acid (H(3)[PMo(12)O(40)], H(3)PMo). H(3)PMo units are selectively incorporated into the PDMAEMA domains due to electrostatic interactions between protonated PDMAEMA and PMo(3-) anions. Long solvophilic PB chains stabilized the PDMAEMA/H(3)PMo aggregates in solution and reliably prevented macrophase separation. The choice of solvent is crucial. It appears that all three components, both blocks of the diblock copolymer as well as H(3)PMo, have to be soluble in the same solvent which turned out to be tetrahydrofuran, THF. Evaporation induced self-assembly resulted in highly ordered inverse hexagonal nanocomposite films as observed from transmission electron microscopy and small-angle X-ray scattering. This one-pot synthesis may represent a generally applicable strategy for integrating polyoxometalates into functional architectures and devices. PMID:22757978

  16. The effect of particle size on the morphology and thermodynamics of diblock copolymer/tethered-particle membranes

    SciTech Connect

    Zhang, Bo; Edwards, Brian J.

    2015-06-07

    A combination of self-consistent field theory and density functional theory was used to examine the effect of particle size on the stable, 3-dimensional equilibrium morphologies formed by diblock copolymers with a tethered nanoparticle attached either between the two blocks or at the end of one of the blocks. Particle size was varied between one and four tenths of the radius of gyration of the diblock polymer chain for neutral particles as well as those either favoring or disfavoring segments of the copolymer blocks. Phase diagrams were constructed and analyzed in terms of thermodynamic diagrams to understand the physics associated with the molecular-level self-assembly processes. Typical morphologies were observed, such as lamellar, spheroidal, cylindrical, gyroidal, and perforated lamellar, with the primary concentration region of the tethered particles being influenced heavily by particle size and tethering location, strength of the particle-segment energetic interactions, chain length, and copolymer radius of gyration. The effect of the simulation box size on the observed morphology and system thermodynamics was also investigated, indicating possible effects of confinement upon the system self-assembly processes.

  17. Process-directed self-assembly of block copolymers: a computer simulation study

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Müller, Marcus; Sun, De-Wen

    2015-05-01

    The free-energy landscape of self-assembling block copolymer systems is characterized by a multitude of metastable minima and concomitant protracted relaxation times of the morphology. Tailoring rapid changes (quench) of thermodynamic conditions, one can reproducibly trap the ensuing kinetics of self-assembly in a specific metastable state. To this end, it is necessary to (1) control the generation of well-defined, highly unstable states and (2) design the unstable state such that the ensuing spontaneous kinetics of structure formation reaches the desired metastable morphology. This process-directed self-assembly provides an alternative to fine-tuning molecular architecture by synthesis or blending, for instance, in order to fabricate complex network structures. Comparing our simulation results to recently developed free-energy techniques, we highlight the importance of non-equilibrium molecular conformations in the starting state and motivate the significance of the local conservation of density.

  18. Terminal groups control self-assembly of amphiphilic block copolymers in solution.

    PubMed

    Grzelakowski, M; Kita-Tokarczyk, K

    2016-03-28

    The terminal groups of amphiphilic block copolymers are shown to control macromolecular self-assembly in aqueous solutions, in the micellar/lamellar region of the phase diagram. At the same concentration and using the same self-assembly conditions, dramatic differences are observed in polymer hydration and the resulting nano-/microstructure for two series of polymers with identical block chemistry and hydrophilic-lipophilic balance (HLB). This suggests a strong contribution from end groups to the hydration as the initial step of the self-assembly process, and could be conveniently used to guide the particle morphology and size. Additionally, for polymers with those head groups which drive vesicular structures, differences in membrane organization affect their physical properties, such as permeability. PMID:26948963

  19. Aqueous Solution Behavior and Metal Nanoparticle Formation in pH-responsive Amphiphilic Diblock Copolymers

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Anastasiadis, Spiros H.; Katsamanis, Vasileios; Afchoudia, Theodora; Vamvakaki, Maria; Sidorov, Stanislav; Kostylev, Maxim; Bronstein, Lyudmila

    2004-03-01

    Dynamic light scattering, pH-metry, 1H-NMR, transmission electron microscopy, and atomic force microscopy have been used to investigate the micellar behavior and metal-nanoparticle formation in poly(2-diethylamino ethylmethacrylate)-block-poly(hexa(ethylene glycol) methacrylate), PDEAEMA-b-PHEGMA, amphiphilic block copolymers in aqueous media. The hydrophobic PDEAEMA block of these copolymers is pH-sensitive: at low pH it can be protonated and it becomes partially or completely hydrophilic leading to molecular solubility whereas at higher pH micelles are formed. The micelle formation is studied as a function of the diblock copolymer characteristics. The micelles consist of a PDEAEMA core and a PHEGMA corona, where the core can dissolve metal compounds due to coordination. Moreover, incorporation of metal compounds (even at low pH) results in self-assembling of the block copolymer molecules and formation of micelles. In all these micellar nanoreactors, metal nanoparticles nucleate and grow upon reduction with sizes in the range of a few nanometers as observed by TEM. These particles exhibit significantly enhanced catalytic properties for hydrogenation and oxidation reactions.

  20. Ion gels by self-assembly of a triblock copolymer in an ionic liquid.

    PubMed

    He, Yiyong; Boswell, Paul G; Bühlmann, Philippe; Lodge, Timothy P

    2007-05-10

    We report a new way of developing ion gels through the self-assembly of a triblock copolymer in a room-temperature ionic liquid. Transparent ion gels were achieved by gelation of a poly(styrene-block-ethylene oxide-block-styrene) (SOS) triblock copolymer in 1-butyl-3-methylimidazolium hexafluorophosphate ([BMIM][PF6]) with as low as 5 wt % SOS triblock copolymer. The gelation behavior, ionic conductivity, rheological properties, and microstructure of the ion gels were investigated. The ionic conductivity of the ion gels is only modestly affected by the triblock copolymer network. Its temperature dependence nearly tracks that of the bulk ionic liquid viscosity. The ion gels are thermally stable up to at least 100 degrees C and possess significant mechanical strength. The results presented here suggest that triblock copolymer gelation is a promising way to develop highly conductive ion gels and provides many advantages in terms of variety and processing. PMID:17474692

  1. Understanding the ordering mechanisms of self-assembled nanostructures of block copolymers during zone annealing

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cong, Zhinan; Zhang, Liangshun; Wang, Liquan; Lin, Jiaping

    2016-03-01

    A theoretical method based on dynamic version of self-consistent field theory is extended to investigate directed self-assembly behaviors of block copolymers subjected to zone annealing. The ordering mechanisms and orientation modulation of microphase-separated nanostructures of block copolymers are discussed in terms of sweep velocity, wall preference, and Flory-Huggins interaction parameter. The simulated results demonstrate that the long-range ordered nanopatterns are achieved by lowering the sweep velocity of zone annealing due to the incorporation of templated ordering of block copolymers. The surface enrichment by one of the two polymer species induces the orientation modulation of defect-free nanostructures through finely tuning the composition of block copolymers and the preference of walls. Additionally, the Flory-Huggins interaction parameters of block copolymers in the distinct regions are main factors to design the zone annealing process for creating the highly ordered nanostructures with single orientation.

  2. Terminal groups control self-assembly of amphiphilic block copolymers in solution

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Grzelakowski, M.; Kita-Tokarczyk, K.

    2016-03-01

    The terminal groups of amphiphilic block copolymers are shown to control macromolecular self-assembly in aqueous solutions, in the micellar/lamellar region of the phase diagram. At the same concentration and using the same self-assembly conditions, dramatic differences are observed in polymer hydration and the resulting nano-/microstructure for two series of polymers with identical block chemistry and hydrophilic-lipophilic balance (HLB). This suggests a strong contribution from end groups to the hydration as the initial step of the self-assembly process, and could be conveniently used to guide the particle morphology and size. Additionally, for polymers with those head groups which drive vesicular structures, differences in membrane organization affect their physical properties, such as permeability.The terminal groups of amphiphilic block copolymers are shown to control macromolecular self-assembly in aqueous solutions, in the micellar/lamellar region of the phase diagram. At the same concentration and using the same self-assembly conditions, dramatic differences are observed in polymer hydration and the resulting nano-/microstructure for two series of polymers with identical block chemistry and hydrophilic-lipophilic balance (HLB). This suggests a strong contribution from end groups to the hydration as the initial step of the self-assembly process, and could be conveniently used to guide the particle morphology and size. Additionally, for polymers with those head groups which drive vesicular structures, differences in membrane organization affect their physical properties, such as permeability. Electronic supplementary information (ESI) available: Fig. S1: Particle diameters for hydrated NH2-ABA-NH2 polymers with different degrees of functionalization; Fig. S2: TEM characterization of compound micelles from BA-OH polymer after extrusion; Fig. S3: Cryo-TEM and stopped flow characterization of lipid vesicles; Fig. S4 and S5: NMR spectra for ABA and BA polymers

  3. Graphoepitaxy of diblock-copolymers microdomains with chemical patterns

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Checco, Antonio; Ocko, Benjamin M.; Misner, Matthew; Xu, Ji; Russell, Thomas P.

    2007-03-01

    Topographically patterned substrates have been used in recent years to laterally confine diblock copolymer (DBC) thin films in order to induce long-range lateral order of the DBC microdomain lattice with respect to a macroscopic reference. Here we demonstrate that surfaces with pure chemical patterns can be used to confine laterally diblock copolymers thin films through template-induced dewetting. A thin DBC film (PS-PEO) is spun cast on top of a surface chemically patterned with micron-sized, wettable domains prepared by oxidative nanolithography. Subsequently, annealing is used to direct the dewetting of the thin film into regions which are conformal to the patterns. We investigate the conditions (film thickness, annealing time) necessary to obtain dewetted structures reproducing the pattern shape with a high level of fidelity. In addition, we study the effect of pattern shape and size on the long-range order of DBC microdomains.

  4. Controlled self-assembly of conjugated rod-coil block copolymers for applications in organic optoelectronics

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tao, Yuefei

    Organic electronics are of great interest in manufacturing light weight, mechanical flexible, and inexpensive large area devices. While significant improvements have been made over the last several years and it is now clear that morphology on the lengthscale of exciton diffusion (10nm) is of crucial importance, a clear relationship between structure and device properties has not emerged. This lack of understanding largely emerges from an inability to control morphology on this lengthscale. This thesis will center around an approach, based on block copolymer self-assembly, to generate equilibrium nanostructures on the 10 nm lengthscale of exciton diffusion and study their effects on device performance. Self-assembly of semiconducting block copolymers is complicated by the non-classical chain shape of conjugated polymers. Unlike classical polymers, the chains do not assume a Gaussian coil shape which is stretched near block copolymer interfaces, instead the chains are elongated and liquid crystalline. Previous work has demonstrated how these new molecular interactions and shapes control the phase diagram of so-called rod-coil block copolymers. Here, we will focus on controlling domain size, orientation, and chemical structure. While domain size can be controlled directly through molecular weight, this requires significant additional synthesis of domain size is to be varied. Here, the domain size is controlled by blending homopolymers into a self-assembling rod-coil block copolymer. When coil-like blocks are incorporated, the domains swell, as expected. When rod-like blocks are incorporated, they interdigitate with the rods of the block copolymers. This results in an increase in interfacial area which forces the coils to rearrange and an overall decrease in domain size with increasing rod content. Control over lamellar orientation is crucial in order to design and control charge transport pathways and exciton recombination or separation interfaces. While numerous

  5. Block copolymer blend phase behavior: Binary diblock blends and amphiphilic block copolymer/epoxy mixtures

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lipic, Paul Martin

    The phase behavior of block copolymers and block copolymer blends has provided an extensive amount of exciting research and industrial applications for over thirty years. However, the unique nanoscale morphologies of microphase separated block copolymer systems is still not completely understood. This thesis examines the phase behavior of diblock copolymers and binary diblock copolymer blends in the strong segregation limit (SSL), and blends of an amphiphilic diblock copolymer with an epoxy resin. Studies of high molecular weight (˜84,000 g/mole) poly(ethylene)-poly(ethyl ethylene) (PE-PEE) diblock copolymers probed the ability of block copolymers to reach equilibrium in the SSL. Samples of pure diblocks or binary diblock blends prepared using different preparation techniques (solvent casting or precipitation) had different phase behaviors, as identified with transmission electron microscopy (TEM) and small-angle x-ray scattering (SAXS), confirming non-equilibrium phase behavior. This non-equilibrium behavior was metastable, and these results identify the caution that should be used when claiming equilibrium phase behavior in the SSL. Blends of an amphiphilic diblock copolymer, poly(ethylene oxide)-poly(ethylene-alt-propylene) (PEO-PEP) with a polymerizable epoxy resin selectively miscible with PEO, poly(Bisphenol-A-co-epichlorohydrin), supported theoretical calculations and increased the understanding of block copolymer/homopolymer blends. These blends formed different ordered structures (lamellae, bicontinuous cubic gyroid, hexagonally packed cylinders, cubic and hexagonally packed spheres) as well as a disordered spherical micellar structure, identified with SAXS and rheological measurements. Addition of hardener, methylene dianiline, to the system resulted in cross-linking of the epoxy resin and formation of a thermoset material. Macrophase separation between the epoxy and block copolymer did not occur, but local expulsion of the PEO from the epoxy was

  6. Viscoelastic response of diblock copolymers to oscillatory shear.

    PubMed

    Rüdiger, S

    2005-05-01

    A mesoscopic model for diblock copolymers is combined with a simple rheological description of the viscoelastic contrast of its two phases. Under oscillatory shear the contrast generates secondary velocity fields and substantial deviations of volume-averaged flow parameters. The validity of our analytical findings is tested with three-dimensional numerical simulations. Furthermore, we consider the effect of advection by the generated flows on the stability of ordered lamellar states and propose a new criterion for the selection of orientations. PMID:15864726

  7. The Influence of Polydispersity on the Thermodynamics of Diblock Copolymers

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lynd, Nathaniel

    2005-03-01

    The effects of the molecular weight distribution on the thermodynamics of diblock copolymers have been predicted to affect order-disorder transitions (ODT), order-order transitions and the equilibrium morphology adopted.^1,2 We prepared several sets of Poly[(ethylene-alt-propylene)-b-(D,L-lactide)] diblock copolymers with controlled molecular weights, compositions and polydispersities (PDIs). Rheology and small angle x-ray scattering were used to evaluate the effects of PDI on the lamellar domain spacing, the ODT, and the resultant morphology. For symmetrical samples, the lamellar domain spacing increased with increasing PDI. The degree of segregation at the ODT ((χN)ODT) was dependent upon the volume fraction of the polydisperse component (fPLA). Interestingly, for fPLA = 0.33 (χN)ODT decreased with increasing PDI but for fPLA= 0.64 (χN)ODT increased with increasing PDI. We also demonstrated that an increase in PDI at constant fPLA results in a change in equilibrium morphology. Monte Carlo simulations addressing the effects of fluctuations on the ODT of polydisperse diblock copolymer melts were also performed. .(1) Sides,S.W.; Frederickson, G.H. J. Chem. Phys. 2004, 121,4974. (2) Burger,C.; Ruland, W.; Semenov, A.N. Macromolecules 1990, 23, 3339.

  8. Laser Writing Block Copolymer Self-Assembly on Graphene Light-Absorbing Layer.

    PubMed

    Jin, Hyeong Min; Lee, Seung Hyun; Kim, Ju Young; Son, Seung-Woo; Kim, Bong Hoon; Lee, Hwan Keon; Mun, Jeong Ho; Cha, Seung Keun; Kim, Jun Soo; Nealey, Paul F; Lee, Keon Jae; Kim, Sang Ouk

    2016-03-22

    Recent advance of high-power laser processing allows for rapid, continuous, area-selective material fabrication, typically represented by laser crystallization of silicon or oxides for display applications. Two-dimensional materials such as graphene exhibit remarkable physical properties and are under intensive development for the manufacture of flexible devices. Here we demonstrate an area-selective ultrafast nanofabrication method using low intensity infrared or visible laser irradiation to direct the self-assembly of block copolymer films into highly ordered manufacturing-relevant architectures at the scale below 12 nm. The fundamental principles underlying this light-induced nanofabrication mechanism include the self-assembly of block copolymers to proceed across the disorder-order transition under large thermal gradients, and the use of chemically modified graphene films as a flexible and conformal light-absorbing layers for transparent, nonplanar, and mechanically flexible surfaces. PMID:26871736

  9. Poly(trimethylene carbonate)/Poly(malic acid) Amphiphilic Diblock Copolymers as Biocompatible Nanoparticles.

    PubMed

    Barouti, Ghislaine; Khalil, Ali; Orione, Clement; Jarnouen, Kathleen; Cammas-Marion, Sandrine; Loyer, Pascal; Guillaume, Sophie M

    2016-02-18

    Amphiphilic polycarbonate-poly(hydroxyalkanoate) diblock copolymers, namely, poly(trimethylene carbonate) (PTMC)-b-poly(β-malic acid) (PMLA), are reported for the first time. The synthetic strategy relies on commercially available catalysts and initiator. The controlled ring-opening polymerization (ROP) of trimethylene carbonate (TMC) catalyzed by the organic guanidine base 1,5,7-triazabicyclo[4.4.0]dec-5-ene (TBD), associated with iPrOH as an initiator, provided iPrO-PTMC-OH, which served as a macroinitiator in the controlled ROP of benzyl β-malolactonate (MLABe) catalyzed by the neodymium triflate salt (Nd(OTf)3). The resulting hydrophobic iPrO-PTMC-b-PMLABe-OH copolymers were then hydrogenolyzed into the parent iPrO-PTMC-b-PMLA-OH copolymers. A range of well-defined copolymers, featuring different sizes of segments (Mn,NMR up to 9300 g mol(-1) ; ÐM =1.28-1.40), were thus isolated in gram quantities, as evidenced by NMR spectroscopy, size exclusion chromatography, thermogravimetric analysis, differential scanning calorimetry, and contact angle analyses. Subsequently, PTMC-b-PMLA copolymers with different hydrophilic weight fractions (11-75 %) self-assembled in phosphate-buffered saline upon nanoprecipitation into well-defined nano-objects with Dh =61-176 nm, a polydispersity index <0.25, and a negative surface charge, as characterized by dynamic light scattering and zeta-potential analyses. In addition, these nanoparticles demonstrated no significant effect on cell viability at low concentrations, and a very low cytotoxicity at high concentrations only for PTMC-b-PMLA copolymers exhibiting hydrophilic fractions over 47 %, thus illustrating the potential of these copolymers as promising nanoparticles. PMID:26791328

  10. Modeling and self-assembly behavior of PEG-PLA-PEG triblock copolymers in aqueous solution

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wu, Xiaohan; Li, Suming; Coumes, Fanny; Darcos, Vincent; Lai Kee Him, Joséphine; Bron, Patrick

    2013-09-01

    A series of poly(ethylene glycol)-polylactide-poly(ethylene glycol) (PEG-PLA-PEG) triblock copolymers with symmetric or asymmetric chain structures were synthesized by combination of ring-opening polymerization and copper-catalyzed click chemistry. The resulting copolymers were used to prepare self-assembled aggregates by dialysis. Various architectures such as nanotubes, polymersomes and spherical micelles were observed from transmission electron microscopy (TEM), cryo-TEM and atomic force microscopy (AFM) measurements. The formation of diverse aggregates is explained by modeling from the angle of both geometry and thermodynamics. From the angle of geometry, a ``blob'' model based on the Daoud-Cotton model for star polymers is proposed to describe the aggregate structures and structural changes with copolymer composition and molar mass. In fact, the copolymer chains extend in aqueous medium to form single layer polymersomes to minimize the system's free energy if one of the two PEG blocks is short enough. The curvature of polymersomes is dependent on the chain structure of copolymers, especially on the length of PLA blocks. A constant branch number of aggregates (f) is thus required to preserve the morphology of polymersomes. Meanwhile, the aggregation number (Nagg) determined from the thermodynamics of self-assembly is roughly proportional to the total length of polymer chains. Comparing f to Nagg, the aggregates take the form of polymersomes if Nagg ~ f, and change to nanotubes if Nagg > f to conform to the limits from both curvature and aggregation number. The length of nanotubes is mainly determined by the difference between Nagg and f. However, the hollow structure becomes unstable when both PEG segments are too long, and the aggregates eventually collapse to yield spherical micelles. Therefore, this work gives new insights into the self-assembly behavior of PEG-PLA-PEG triblock copolymers in aqueous solution which present great interest for biomedical and

  11. Asymmetrical Self-assembly From Fluorinated and Sulfonated Block Copolymers in Aqueous Media

    SciTech Connect

    Wang, Xiaojun; Hong, Kunlun; Baskaran, Durairaj; Goswami, Monojoy; Sumpter, Bobby G; Mays, Jimmy

    2011-01-01

    Block copolymers of fluorinated isoprene and partially sulfonated styrene form novel tapered rods and ribbon-like micelles in aqueous media due to a distribution of sulfonation sites and a large Flory-Huggins interaction parameter. A combination of microscopy, light scattering, and simulation demonstrates the presence of these unique nanostructures. This study sheds light on the micellization behavior of amphiphilic block polymers by revealing a new mechanism of self-assembly.

  12. Synthesis and Characterization of Stimuli Responsive Block Copolymers, Self-Assembly Behavior and Applications

    SciTech Connect

    Michael Duane Determan

    2005-12-17

    The central theme of this thesis work is to develop new block copolymer materials for biomedical applications. While there are many reports of stimuli-responsive amphiphilic [19-21] and crosslinked hydrogel materials [22], the development of an in situ gel forming, pH responsive pentablock copolymer is a novel contribution to the field, Figure 1.1 is a sketch of an ABCBA pentablock copolymer. The A blocks are cationic tertiary amine methacrylates blocked to a central Pluronic F127 triblock copolymer. In addition to the prerequisite synthetic and macromolecular characterization of these new materials, the self-assembled supramolecular structures formed by the pentablock were experimentally evaluated. This synthesis and characterization process serves to elucidate the important structure property relationships of these novel materials, The pH and temperature responsive behavior of the pentablock copolymer were explored especially with consideration towards injectable drug delivery applications. Future synthesis work will focus on enhancing and tuning the cell specific targeting of DNA/pentablock copolymer polyplexes. The specific goals of this research are: (1) Develop a synthetic route for gel forming pentablock block copolymers with pH and temperature sensitive properties. Synthesis of these novel copolymers is accomplished with ATRP, yielding low polydispersity and control of the block copolymer architecture. Well defined macromolecular characteristics are required to tailor the phase behavior of these materials. (2) Characterize relationship between the size and shape of pentablock copolymer micelles and gel structure and the pH and temperature of the copolymer solutions with SAXS, SANS and CryoTEM. (3) Evaluate the temperature and pH induced phase separation and macroscopic self-assembly phenomenon of the pentablock copolymer. (4) Utilize the knowledge gained from first three goals to design and formulate drug delivery formulations based on the multi

  13. Graded porous inorganic materials derived from self-assembled block copolymer templates

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gu, Yibei; Werner, Jörg G.; Dorin, Rachel M.; Robbins, Spencer W.; Wiesner, Ulrich

    2015-03-01

    Graded porous inorganic materials directed by macromolecular self-assembly are expected to offer unique structural platforms relative to conventional porous inorganic materials. Their preparation to date remains a challenge, however, based on the sparsity of viable synthetic self-assembly pathways to control structural asymmetry. Here we demonstrate the fabrication of graded porous carbon, metal, and metal oxide film structures from self-assembled block copolymer templates by using various backfilling techniques in combination with thermal treatments for template removal and chemical transformations. The asymmetric inorganic structures display mesopores in the film top layers and a gradual pore size increase along the film normal in the macroporous sponge-like support structure. Substructure walls between macropores are themselves mesoporous, constituting a structural hierarchy in addition to the pore gradation. Final graded structures can be tailored by tuning casting conditions of self-assembled templates as well as the backfilling processes. We expect that these graded porous inorganic materials may find use in applications including separation, catalysis, biomedical implants, and energy conversion and storage.Graded porous inorganic materials directed by macromolecular self-assembly are expected to offer unique structural platforms relative to conventional porous inorganic materials. Their preparation to date remains a challenge, however, based on the sparsity of viable synthetic self-assembly pathways to control structural asymmetry. Here we demonstrate the fabrication of graded porous carbon, metal, and metal oxide film structures from self-assembled block copolymer templates by using various backfilling techniques in combination with thermal treatments for template removal and chemical transformations. The asymmetric inorganic structures display mesopores in the film top layers and a gradual pore size increase along the film normal in the macroporous sponge

  14. Temperature and anion responsive self-assembly of ionic liquid block copolymers coating gold nanoparticles

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Li, Junbo; Zhao, Jianlong; Wu, Wenlan; Liang, Ju; Guo, Jinwu; Zhou, Huiyun; Liang, Lijuan

    2016-04-01

    In this paper, double hydrophilic ionic liquid block copolymers (ILBCs), poly poly[1-methyl-3-(2-methacryloyloxy propylimidazolium bromine)]-block-(N-isopropylacrylamide) (PMMPImB-b-PNIPAAm) was first synthesized by reversible additionfragmentation chain transfer (RAFT) and then attached on the surface of gold nanoparticles (Au NPs) via a strong gold-sulfur bonding for preparing hybrid nanoparticles (PMMPImB-b-PNIPAAm-@-Au NPs). The hybrid NPs had a three layers micelle-like structure, including a gold core, thermo-responsive inner shell and anion responsive outer corona. The self-assembling behavior of thermal- and anion-response from shell and corona were respectively investigated by change of temperature and addition of (CF3SO2)2N-. The results showed the hybrid NPs retained a stable dispersion beyond the lower critical solution temperature (LCST) because of the space or electrostatic protecting by outer PMMPImB. However, with increasing concentration of (CF3SO2)2N-, the micellization of self-assembling PMMPImB-b-PNIPAAm-@-Au NPs was induced to form micellar structure containing the core with hydrophobic PMMPImB- (CF3SO2)2N- surrounded by composite shell of Au NPs-PNIPAAm via the anionresponsive properties of ILBCs. These results indicated that the block copolymers protected plasmonic nanoparticles remain self-assembling properties of block copolymers when phase transition from outer corona polymer.

  15. Temperature and anion responsive self-assembly of ionic liquid block copolymers coating gold nanoparticles

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Li, Junbo; Zhao, Jianlong; Wu, Wenlan; Liang, Ju; Guo, Jinwu; Zhou, Huiyun; Liang, Lijuan

    2016-06-01

    In this paper, double hydrophilic ionic liquid block copolymers (ILBCs), poly poly[1-methyl-3-(2-methacryloyloxy propylimidazolium bromine)]- block-(N-isopropylacrylamide) (PMMPImB- b-PNIPAAm) was first synthesized by reversible additionfragmentation chain transfer (RAFT) and then attached on the surface of gold nanoparticles (Au NPs) via a strong gold-sulfur bonding for preparing hybrid nanoparticles (PMMPImB- b-PNIPAAm-@-Au NPs). The hybrid NPs had a three layers micelle-like structure, including a gold core, thermo-responsive inner shell and anion responsive outer corona. The self-assembling behavior of thermal- and anion-response from shell and corona were respectively investigated by change of temperature and addition of (CF3SO2)2N-. The results showed the hybrid NPs retained a stable dispersion beyond the lower critical solution temperature (LCST) because of the space or electrostatic protecting by outer PMMPImB. However, with increasing concentration of (CF3SO2)2N-, the micellization of self-assembling PMMPImB- b-PNIPAAm-@-Au NPs was induced to form micellar structure containing the core with hydrophobic PMMPImB-(CF3SO2)2N- surrounded by composite shell of Au NPs-PNIPAAm via the anionresponsive properties of ILBCs. These results indicated that the block copolymers protected plasmonic nanoparticles remain self-assembling properties of block copolymers when phase transition from outer corona polymer.

  16. Flow-directed block copolymer micelle morphologies via microfluidic self-assembly.

    PubMed

    Wang, Chih-Wei; Sinton, David; Moffitt, Matthew G

    2011-11-23

    The self-assembly of amphiphilic block copolymers in a gas-liquid microfluidic reactor produces variable, flow-directed micellar morphologies entirely different from off-chip equilibrium structures. A polystyrene-block-poly(acrylic acid) copolymer, which forms exclusively spheres off-chip, generates kinetic cylinders, Y-junctions, bilayers, and networks by a mechanism of collision-coalescence enabled by strong and localized on-chip shear fields. Variation in the size and relative amount of flow-directed nanostructures is achieved by changing the water content and flow rate. These results demonstrate on-chip processing routes to specific functional colloidal nanostructures. PMID:21992654

  17. Synthesis and Self-Assembly of Rod2Coil Miktoarm Star Copolymers of Poly(3-dodecxylthiophene) and Poly(methyl methacrylate) with high rod fractions

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Park, Jicheol; Moon, Hong Chul; Choi, Chung-Royng; Kim, Jin Kon

    2015-03-01

    Poly(3-dodecylthiophene)-b-poly(methyl methacrylate) diblock copolymer (P3DDT- b-PMMA) can self-assembled into various microdomains such as spheres, cylinders, and lamellae depending on weight fraction of P3DDT. However, only filbril morphology was formed when weight fraction of P3DDT (wP 3 DDT) was major (wP 3 DDT ~ 0.76). Here, we introduce a new approach to obtain microdomain structures even at high wP 3 DDT by using well-defined A2B miktoarm star copolymer composed of P3DDT and PMMA ((P3DDT)2PMMA. We found via small angle X-ray scattering and transmission electron microscopy that (P3DDT)2PMMA showed PMMA cylinder packed hexagonally in the matrix of P3DDT and body-centered-cubic spheres of PMMA for wP 3 DDT of 0.66 and 0.75, respectively. This because of much reduction of the rod-rod interaction in (P3DDT)2PMMA compared with P3DDT- b-PMMA diblock copolymers.

  18. Micellization and adsorption behavior of a near-monodisperse polystyrene-based diblock copolymer in nonpolar media.

    PubMed

    Growney, David J; Mykhaylyk, Oleksandr O; Armes, Steven P

    2014-06-01

    The micellar self-assembly behavior of a near-monodisperse polystyrene-hydrogenated polyisoprene (PS-PEP) diblock copolymer is examined in non-polar media (either n-heptane or n-dodecane). Direct dissolution of this diblock copolymer leads to the formation of relatively large polydisperse colloidal aggregates that are kinetically frozen artifacts of the solid-state copolymer morphology. Dynamic light scattering (DLS) and transmission electron microscopy studies indicate that heating such copolymer dispersions up to 90-110 °C leads to a structural rearrangement, with the generation of relatively small, well-defined spherical micelles that persist on cooling to 20 °C. Variable temperature (1)H NMR studies using deuterated n-alkanes confirm that partial solvation (plasticization) of the polystyrene micelle cores occurs on heating. This increased mobility of the core-forming polystyrene chains is consistent with the evolution from a kinetically-trapped to a thermodynamically-favored copolymer morphology via exchange of individual copolymer chains, which are observed by DLS. These micellar self-assembly observations are also consistent with small-angle X-ray scattering (SAXS) studies, which indicate the formation of star-like micelles in n-heptane, with a mean polystyrene core diameter of about 20 nm and an overall diameter (core plus corona) of about 80 nm. Micelle dissociation occurs on addition of chloroform, which is a good solvent for both blocks. Finally, physical adsorption of this PS-PEP diblock copolymer onto a model colloidal substrate (carbon black) has been confirmed using X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy. A Langmuir-type adsorption isotherm has been constructed using a supernatant depletion assay based on UV spectroscopy analysis of the aromatic chromophore in the polystyrene block. Comparable results were obtained using thermogravimetric analysis to directly determine the amount of adsorbed copolymer. Based on the maximum adsorbed amounts observed at 20

  19. Preparations, Properties, and Applications of Periodic Nano Arrays using Anodized Aluminum Oxide and Di-block Copolymer

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Noh, Kunbae

    2011-12-01

    Self-ordered arrangements observed in various materials systems such as anodic aluminum oxide, polystyrene nanoparticles, and block copolymer are of great interest in terms of providing new opportunities in nanofabrication field where lithographic techniques are broadly used in general. Investigations on self-assembled nano arrays to understand how to obtain periodic nano arrays in an efficient yet inexpensive way, and how to realize advanced material and device systems thereof, can lead to significant impacts on science and technology for many forefront device applications. In this thesis, various aspects of periodic nano-arrays have been discussed including novel preparations, properties and applications of anodized aluminum oxide (AAO) and PS-b-P4VP (S4VP) di-block copolymer self-assembly. First, long-range ordered AAO arrays have been demonstrated. Nanoimprint lithography (NIL) process allowed a faithful pattern transfer of the imprint mold pattern onto Al thin film, and interesting self-healing and pattern tripling phenomena were observed, which could be applicable towards fabrication of the NIL master mold having highly dense pattern over large area, useful for fabrication of a large-area substrate for predictable positioning of arrayed devices. Second, S4VP diblock copolymer self-assembly and S4VP directed AAO self-assembly have been demonstrated in the Al thin film on Si substrate. Such a novel combination of two dissimilar self-assembly techniques demonstrated a potential as a versatile tool for nanopatterning formation on a Si substrate, capable of being integrated into Si process technology. As exemplary applications, vertically aligned Ni nanowires have been synthesized into an S4VP-guided AAO membrane on a Si substrate in addition to anti-dot structured [Co/Pd]n magnetic multilayer using S4VP self assembly. Third, a highly hexagonally ordered, vertically parallel aluminum oxide nanotube array was successfully fabricated via hard anodization technique

  20. Coil fraction-dependent phase behaviour of a model globular protein–polymer diblock copolymer

    SciTech Connect

    Thomas, Carla S.; Olsen, Bradley D.

    2014-01-01

    The self-assembly of the model globular protein–polymer block copolymer mCherry-b-poly(N-isopropyl acrylamide) is explored across a range of polymer coil fractions from 0.21 to 0.82 to produce a phase diagram for these materials as a function of molecular composition. Overall, four types of morphologies were observed: hexagonally packed cylinders, perforated lamellae, lamellae, and disordered nanostructures. Across all coil fractions and morphologies, a lyotropic re-entrant order–disorder transition in water was observed, with disordered structures below 30 wt% and above 70 wt% and well-ordered morphologies at intermediate concentrations. Solid state samples prepared by solvent evaporation show moderately ordered structures similar to those observed in 60 wt% solutions, suggesting that bulk structures result from kinetic trapping of morphologies which appear at lower concentrations. While highly ordered cylindrical nanostructures are observed around a bioconjugate polymer volume fraction of 0.3 and well-ordered lamellae are seen near a volume fraction of 0.6, materials at lower or higher coil fractions become increasingly disordered. Notable differences between the phase behaviour of globular protein–polymer block copolymers and coil–coil diblock copolymers include the lack of spherical nanostructures at either high or low polymer coil fractions as well as shifted phase boundaries between morphologies which result in an asymmetric phase diagram.

  1. Coil fraction-dependent phase behaviour of a model globular protein-polymer diblock copolymer.

    PubMed

    Thomas, Carla S; Olsen, Bradley D

    2014-05-01

    The self-assembly of the model globular protein-polymer block copolymer mCherry-b-poly(N-isopropyl acrylamide) is explored across a range of polymer coil fractions from 0.21 to 0.82 to produce a phase diagram for these materials as a function of molecular composition. Overall, four types of morphologies were observed: hexagonally packed cylinders, perforated lamellae, lamellae, and disordered nanostructures. Across all coil fractions and morphologies, a lyotropic re-entrant order-disorder transition in water was observed, with disordered structures below 30 wt% and above 70 wt% and well-ordered morphologies at intermediate concentrations. Solid state samples prepared by solvent evaporation show moderately ordered structures similar to those observed in 60 wt% solutions, suggesting that bulk structures result from kinetic trapping of morphologies which appear at lower concentrations. While highly ordered cylindrical nanostructures are observed around a bioconjugate polymer volume fraction of 0.3 and well-ordered lamellae are seen near a volume fraction of 0.6, materials at lower or higher coil fractions become increasingly disordered. Notable differences between the phase behaviour of globular protein-polymer block copolymers and coil-coil diblock copolymers include the lack of spherical nanostructures at either high or low polymer coil fractions as well as shifted phase boundaries between morphologies which result in an asymmetric phase diagram. PMID:24695642

  2. Crystallization in Poly(ethylene)-containing Diblock Copolymers

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hamley, Ian W.; Fairclough, J. Patrick A.; Ryan, Anthony J.; Bates, Frank S.

    1997-03-01

    Crystallization in diblock copolymers containing poly(ethylene) (PE) has been studied using small-angle x-ray scattering at the Synchrotron Radiation Source, Daresbury Laboratory, U.K. For block copolymers that form ordered phases in the melt, chain folding of PE on crystallization destroys the melt morphology and the solid structure is found to be lamellar, even if the melt structure is hexagonal-packed cylinders. The orientation of the crystallized PE stems was deduced to be parallel to the lamellar interface on the basis of the orientation of peaks in the wide-angle x-ray scattering pattern with respect to those in the SAXS. For a diblock containing a glassy component, diffuse scattering parallel to the meridian in the SAXS pattern indicates lateral correlations between PE crystallites within the layers of semicrystalline PE and this was modelled using a Markov lattice. These lateral correlations are not present when the non-crystalline component is an amorphous melt. In a diblock with f_PE = 0.35, epitaxial melting of the lamellar solid structure to a hexagonal-packed cylinder structure was observed. The kinetics of crystallization were determined from the time dependence of the SAXS invariant, and found to follow Avrami kinetics with n=3, consistent with nucleation and growth of spherulites.

  3. Supramolecular block copolymers by kinetically controlled co-self-assembly of planar and core-twisted perylene bisimides

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Görl, Daniel; Zhang, Xin; Stepanenko, Vladimir; Würthner, Frank

    2015-05-01

    New synthetic methodologies for the formation of block copolymers have revolutionized polymer science within the last two decades. However, the formation of supramolecular block copolymers composed of alternating sequences of larger block segments has not been realized yet. Here we show by transmission electron microscopy (TEM), 2D NMR and optical spectroscopy that two different perylene bisimide dyes bearing either a flat (A) or a twisted (B) core self-assemble in water into supramolecular block copolymers with an alternating sequence of (AmBB)n. The highly defined ultralong nanowire structure of these supramolecular copolymers is entirely different from those formed upon self-assembly of the individual counterparts, that is, stiff nanorods (A) and irregular nanoworms (B), respectively. Our studies further reveal that the as-formed supramolecular block copolymer constitutes a kinetic self-assembly product that transforms into thermodynamically more stable self-sorted homopolymers upon heating.

  4. Supramolecular block copolymers by kinetically controlled co-self-assembly of planar and core-twisted perylene bisimides

    PubMed Central

    Görl, Daniel; Zhang, Xin; Stepanenko, Vladimir; Würthner, Frank

    2015-01-01

    New synthetic methodologies for the formation of block copolymers have revolutionized polymer science within the last two decades. However, the formation of supramolecular block copolymers composed of alternating sequences of larger block segments has not been realized yet. Here we show by transmission electron microscopy (TEM), 2D NMR and optical spectroscopy that two different perylene bisimide dyes bearing either a flat (A) or a twisted (B) core self-assemble in water into supramolecular block copolymers with an alternating sequence of (AmBB)n. The highly defined ultralong nanowire structure of these supramolecular copolymers is entirely different from those formed upon self-assembly of the individual counterparts, that is, stiff nanorods (A) and irregular nanoworms (B), respectively. Our studies further reveal that the as-formed supramolecular block copolymer constitutes a kinetic self-assembly product that transforms into thermodynamically more stable self-sorted homopolymers upon heating. PMID:25959777

  5. Self-assembly of peptoid block copolymers with tunable conformational asymmetry

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rosales, Adrianne; Zuckermann, Ronald; Segalman, Rachel

    2013-03-01

    Functional polymers such as conjugated or biological molecules have been shown to have a variety of chain conformations that affect their self-assembly. Polypeptoids are sequence-specific biomimetic polymers for which the statistical segment length can be tuned by the introduction of monomers with bulky, chiral side chains, allowing one to change the polymer conformation independent of chemical structure or molecular weight. Furthermore, sequence specificity enables the precise placement of those chiral monomers along the polymer chain. This work presents a systematic study of block copolymer self-assembly using chiral polypeptoids or their racemic analogs and poly(n-butyl acrylate). For the chiral block copolymers, SAXS measurements reveal that the change in conformational asymmetry increases the morphological domain spacing and decreases the corresponding interfacial area per chain, indicating that the chiral peptoid chains can pack more closely within the domain compared to the racemic peptoid chains. The effect on domain spacing is also probed by changing the position of the chiral monomers with respect to the block copolymer junction. These results lend insight to the design of block copolymers with secondary structure.

  6. Single- and Multilayered Nanostructures via Laser-Induced Block Copolymer Self-Assembly

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Majewski, Pawel; Yager, Kevin; Rahman, Atikur; Black, Charles

    We present a novel method of accelerated self-assembly of block copolymer thin films utilizing laser light, called Laser Zone Annealing (LZA). In our approach, steep temperature transients are induced in block copolymer films by rastering narrowly focused laser line over the light-absorbing substrate. Extremely steep temperature gradients accelerate the process of self-assembly by several orders-of-magnitude compared to conventional oven annealing, and, when coupled to photo-thermal shearing, lead to global alignment of block copolymer domains assessed by GISXAS diffraction studies and real-space SEM imaging. We demonstrate monolithic alignment of various block-copolymer thin films including PS-b-PMMA, PS-b-PEO, PS-b-P2VP, PS-b-PI and observe different responsiveness to the shearing rate depending on the characteristic relaxation timescale of the particular material. Subsequently, we use the aligned polymeric films as templates for synthesis of single- and multi-layered arrays of inorganic, metallic or semiconducting nanowires and nanomeshes and investigate their anisotropic electro-optical properties. Research carried out in part at the Center for Functional Nanomaterials, Brookhaven National Laboratory, which is supported by the U.S. Department of Energy, Office of Basic Energy Sciences, under Contract No. DE-AC02-98CH10886.

  7. Synthesis of amphiphilic diblock copolymer for surface modification of Ethylene-Norbornene Copolymers

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Levinsen, Simon; Svendsen, Winnie Edith; Horsewell, Andy; Almdal, Kristoffer

    2014-03-01

    The aim of this work is to produce polymer modifiers in order to develop hydrophilic polymeric surfaces for use in microfluidics. The use of hydrophilic polymers in microfluidics will have many advantages e.g. preventing protein absorbance. Here we present an amphiphilic diblock copolymer consisting of a bulk material compatible block and a hydrophilic block. To utilize the possibility of incorporating diblock copolymers into ethylene-norbornene copolymers, we have in this work developed a model poly(ethylene-1-butene) polymer compatible with the commercial available ethylene-norbornene copolymer TOPAS. Through matching of the radius of gyration for the model polymer and TOPAS the miscibility was achieved. The poly(ethylene-1-butene) polymer was synthesized from a hydrogenated anionic polymerized polybutadiene polymer. As hydrophilic block poly(ethylene oxide) was subsequently added also with anionic polymerization. Recent miscibility results between the model polymer and TOPAS will be presented, as well ongoing efforts to study the hydrophilic surface.

  8. A Block Copolymer Self-Assembly Approach for 3D Nanoconfined Dopants in Semiconductors

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Popere, Bhooshan; Russ, Boris; Chang, William; Heitsch, Andrew; Trefonas, Peter; Segalman, Rachel

    2015-03-01

    Continuous shrinking of electronic circuits presents a new challenge to demonstrate reliable, uniform nanoscale doping. Directed self-assembly (DSA) of block copolymers (BCP) has proved critical in meeting the technology nodes by enabling excellent pitch control for lithography. Yet, controlling the 3D dopant distribution remains a fundamental design challenge. To this end, we have utilized BCP self-assembly in a novel approach to confine dopants to nanoscopic domains within a semiconductor. The periodic nature of these domains affords precise control over the dosage and spatial positions of dopant atoms. Dopant incorporation within the block copolymer domains via hydrogen bonding eliminates the need for tailored synthesis, making the approach highly modular. Rapid thermal annealing of the self-assembled films effectively drives the dopants into the underlying substrate, thus confining them to within 10-20 nm in all dimensions. Additionally, the size, pitch, dopant dosage and the junction depth can be independently varied for a wide range of dopants. Compositional and electronic measurements indicate that the domains are indeed discrete and nanoconfined. Our approach, thereby, enables a facile method for controlled nanoscopic doping in semiconductors.

  9. From supramolecular polymersomes to stimuli-responsive nano-capsules based on poly(diene-b-peptide) diblock copolymers

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Chécot, F.; Lecommandoux, S.; Klok, H.-A.; Gnanou, Y.

    2003-01-01

    This paper discusses the self-assembly of block copolymers into vesicular morphology. After a brief state of art of the field, a system based on an amphiphilic poly(butadiene)-b-poly(γ-L-glutamic acid) (PB-b-PGA) diblock copolymer in aqueous solution is discussed in detail. The aggregation behavior of this block copolymer has been investigated by means of fluorescence spectroscopy, dynamic (DLS) and static (SLS) light scattering as well as transmission electron microscopy (TEM). The diblock copolymer was found to form well-defined vesicles in water. The size of these so-called polymersomes or peptosomes could be reversibly manipulated as a function of both pH and ion strength. Depending on the pH of the aqueous solution, the hydrodynamic radii of these vesicles were found to vary from 100 nm to 150 nm. By cross-linking the 1,2-vinyl double bonds present in the polybutadiene block, the ability to transform a transient supramolecular self-organized aggregate into a permanent “shape-persistent stimuli-responsive nanoparticle” has been demonstrated.

  10. Architectural effect on the self-assembly of supramolecular triblock copolymer melts

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lee, Won Bo; Elliott, Richard; Katsov, Kirill; Fredrickson, Glenn H.

    2007-03-01

    Thermoreversible, supramolecular self-assembly in multi-block copolymer melts is studied within the framework of self-consistent field theory. This approach is adapted to study a system composed of two chemically distinct, but reactive homopolymer species: a linear A-homopolymer with a single reactive group at one of the ends, and a linear B-homopolymer with reactive groups at both ends. Reversible bonding occurs between the functional groups from different polymer species so that the reacting system can contain A, B, AB and ABA (co)polymer species whose overall volume fractions are controlled by the segmental incompatibility, bonding strength and homopolymer chain lengths. Architectural variations of these copolymers, arising from the differing lengths of A and B homopolymers, have a dramatic effect on not only the micro-phase separation but also on the extent of reversible bonding. Two characteristic phase diagrams are constructed to illustrate this behavior and possible technological applications are discussed.

  11. Morphology of diblock copolymers under confinement

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ackerman, David; Ganapathysubramanian, Baskar

    The structure adopted by polymer chains is of particular intrest for materials design. In particular, a great deal of effort has been made to study diblock polymers due to the importance they have in industrial applications. The bulk structure of most systems has been the most widely studied. However, when under the effect of confinement, the polymer chains are forced to adopt structures differing from the familiar bulk phases. As many applications utilize polymers in sizes and shapes that lead to these non bulk structures, the confinement effects are important. A commonly used tool for computationally determining structures is the continuum self consistant field theory (SCFT). We discuss our highly scalable parallel framework for SCFT using real space methods (finite element) that is especially well suited to modelling complex geometries. This framework is capable of modeling both Gaussian and worm like chains. We illustate the use of the software framework in determining structures under varying degrees of confinement. We detail the method used and present selected results from a systematic study of confinement using arbitrary structures.

  12. Block copolymer self-assembly-directed synthesis of mesoporous gyroidal superconductors.

    PubMed

    Robbins, Spencer W; Beaucage, Peter A; Sai, Hiroaki; Tan, Kwan Wee; Werner, Jörg G; Sethna, James P; DiSalvo, Francis J; Gruner, Sol M; Van Dover, Robert B; Wiesner, Ulrich

    2016-01-01

    Superconductors with periodically ordered mesoporous structures are expected to have properties very different from those of their bulk counterparts. Systematic studies of such phenomena to date are sparse, however, because of a lack of versatile synthetic approaches to such materials. We demonstrate the formation of three-dimensionally continuous gyroidal mesoporous niobium nitride (NbN) superconductors from chiral ABC triblock terpolymer self-assembly-directed sol-gel-derived niobium oxide with subsequent thermal processing in air and ammonia gas. Superconducting materials exhibit a critical temperature (T c) of about 7 to 8 K, a flux exclusion of about 5% compared to a dense NbN solid, and an estimated critical current density (J c) of 440 A cm(-2) at 100 Oe and 2.5 K. We expect block copolymer self-assembly-directed mesoporous superconductors to provide interesting subjects for mesostructure-superconductivity correlation studies. PMID:27152327

  13. Rapid self-assembly of brush block copolymers to photonic crystals.

    PubMed

    Sveinbjörnsson, Benjamin R; Weitekamp, Raymond A; Miyake, Garret M; Xia, Yan; Atwater, Harry A; Grubbs, Robert H

    2012-09-01

    The reduced chain entanglement of brush polymers over their linear analogs drastically lowers the energetic barriers to reorganization. In this report, we demonstrate the rapid self-assembly of brush block copolymers to nanostructures with photonic bandgaps spanning the entire visible spectrum, from ultraviolet (UV) to near infrared (NIR). Linear relationships were observed between the peak wavelengths of reflection and polymer molecular weights. This work enables "bottom-up" fabrication of photonic crystals with application-tailored bandgaps, through synthetic control of the polymer molecular weight and the method of self-assembly. These polymers could be developed into NIR-reflective paints, to combat the "urban heat island effect" due to NIR photon thermalization. PMID:22912408

  14. Self-assembly of block copolymers on lithographically patterned template with ordered posts.

    PubMed

    Xu, Dan; Liu, Hong; Xue, Yao-Hong; Sun, Yan-Bo

    2015-12-21

    Dissipative particle dynamics simulations are employed to study the self-assembly of block copolymers on a template modified with ordered posts. Templates with hexagonally arranged and rectangularly arranged posts are both studied. For the systems with hexagonally arranged posts, morphologies with bending alignments are seen most often. We find that the different kinds of patterns, which can be directly observed in experiments, are substantially induced by the pattern of the bottom layer. In the simulations with a template modified with rectangularly arranged posts, by finely adjusting the distances between neighboring posts in both x and y directions, mesh-shaped structures with different angles between the bottom and the sub-bottom layers can be obtained. These results shed light on the better design of lithographically patterned materials on the scale of 10 nm via the directed self-assembly of BCPs by templating. PMID:26566140

  15. Response behavior of diblock copolymer brushes in explicit solvent

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gong, Kai; Marshall, Bennett D.; Chapman, Walter G.

    2012-10-01

    The understanding of phase behavior of copolymer brushes is of fundamental importance for the design of smart materials. In this paper, we have performed classical density functional theory calculations to study diblock copolymer brushes (A-B) in an explicit solvent which prefers the A block to B block. With increasing B-block length (NB), we find a structural transition of the copolymer brush from mixed to collapsed, partial-exposed, and exposed structure, which is qualitatively consistent with experiments. The phase transitions are attributed to the interplay between entropic cost of folding copolymer brushes and enthalpic effect of contact between unlike components. In addition, we examine the effect of different parameters, such as grafting density (ρg), the bottom block length (NA), and the chain length of solvent (NS) on the solvent response of copolymer brushes. The transition chain length (NB) increases with decreasing ρg and NA, and a smaller solvent molecule makes the collapsed structure less stable due to its lower penetration cost. Our results provide the insight to phase behavior of copolymer brushes in selective solvents from a molecular view.

  16. Manipulating block copolymer self-assemblies in bulk and thin films by thermal and solvent annealing

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gu, Weiyin

    The self--assembly of block copolymers (BCPs) into well--ordered nanoscopic arrays holds promise for new technological breakthroughs as templates and scaffolds for the fabrication of nanostructured materials. It is essential to establish convenient approaches to control the morphology of BCPs, since some applications require addressability, the BCP microdomains must be perfectly aligned and oriented. The theme of this thesis is the use of external forces, specifically thermal and solvent annealing, to guide the self--assembly of BCPs to obtain microphase separated morphologies for different applications. Three representative BCP systems, having lamellar, cylindrical and spherical microdomains are discussed. First, the self--assembly of lamella--forming brush block copolymers (BrBCPs) having polylactide (PLA) and polystyrene (PS) side chains were studied in the bulk and in thin films. The domain size increased approximately linearly with the molecular weight of the backbone, which indicated that the backbone was in an extended conformation that was confirmed theoretically. In situ small angle x--ray scattering (SAXS) measurements indicated that the self--assembly of the BrBCPs was quite rapid, due to the rigid nature of the backbone chain, Second, the directed self--assembly of cylinder--forming polystyrene--block--poly(ethylene oxide)s (PS--b--PEOs) in thin films were investigated. The polymer--surface interactions were tuned by hydroxyl end--functionalized polymers, so that the orientation of the PS--b--PEO microdomains was controlled during thermal annealing. Cylindrical PEO microdomains embedded in a PS matrix orientated normal to the silicon substrates were observed over a wide processing window when the substrates were modified by PS-- b--PEO BCPs. PS--b--PEOs with an o--nitrobenzyl ester junction point (PS--hnu --PEOs) were used to fabricate nanoscopic dot and line patterns having long--range lateral order. The cylindrical BCP microdomains were oriented

  17. Tunable and rapid self-assembly of block copolymers using mixed solvent vapors

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Park, Woon Ik; Tong, Sheng; Liu, Yuzi; Jung, Il Woong; Roelofs, Andreas; Hong, Seungbum

    2014-11-01

    Pattern generation of well-controlled block copolymers (BCPs) with a high Flory-Huggins interaction parameter (χ) is important for applications in sub-20 nm nanolithography. We used mixed solvents of dimethylformamide (DMF) and toluene to control the morphology as well as the time to achieve the targeted morphology via self-assembly of BCPs. By precisely controlling the volume ratio of DMF and toluene, well-ordered line, honeycomb, circular hole, and lamellar nanostructures were obtained from a cylinder-forming poly(styrene-b-2-vinylpyridine) (PS-b-P2VP) BCP with high χ. Furthermore, a well-aligned 12 nm line pattern was successfully achieved in the guiding template within one minute using the mixed solvents. This practical method may also be applicable to self-assembly of other BCPs, providing more opportunities for the next-generation sub-10 nm lithography applications.Pattern generation of well-controlled block copolymers (BCPs) with a high Flory-Huggins interaction parameter (χ) is important for applications in sub-20 nm nanolithography. We used mixed solvents of dimethylformamide (DMF) and toluene to control the morphology as well as the time to achieve the targeted morphology via self-assembly of BCPs. By precisely controlling the volume ratio of DMF and toluene, well-ordered line, honeycomb, circular hole, and lamellar nanostructures were obtained from a cylinder-forming poly(styrene-b-2-vinylpyridine) (PS-b-P2VP) BCP with high χ. Furthermore, a well-aligned 12 nm line pattern was successfully achieved in the guiding template within one minute using the mixed solvents. This practical method may also be applicable to self-assembly of other BCPs, providing more opportunities for the next-generation sub-10 nm lithography applications. Electronic supplementary information (ESI) available: PDF material includes morphological transition of SV42 BCP (Fig. S1), metal-oxide line and hole structures (Fig. S2), time-evolution of self-assembled SV42 BCP using pure

  18. Onset of self-assembly

    SciTech Connect

    Chitanvis, S.M.

    1998-02-01

    We have formulated a theory of self-assembly based on the notion of local gauge invariance at the mesoscale. Local gauge invariance at the mesoscale generates the required long-range entropic forces responsible for self-assembly in binary systems. Our theory was applied to study the onset of mesostructure formation above a critical temperature in estane, a diblock copolymer. We used diagrammatic methods to transcend the Gaussian approximation and obtain a correlation length {xi}{approximately}(c{minus}c{sup {asterisk}}){sup {minus}{gamma}}, where c{sup {asterisk}} is the minimum concentration below which self-assembly is impossible, c is the current concentration, and {gamma} was found numerically to be fairly close to 2/3. The renormalized diffusion constant vanishes as the critical concentration is approached, indicating the occurrence of critical slowing down, while the correlation function remains finite at the transition point. {copyright} {ital 1998} {ital The American Physical Society}

  19. Selective directed self-assembly of coexisting morphologies using block copolymer blends

    DOE PAGESBeta

    Stein, A.; Wright, G.; Yager, K. G.; Doerk, G. S.; Black, C. T.

    2016-08-02

    Directed self-assembly (DSA) of block copolymers is an emergent technique for nano-lithography, but is limited in the range of structures possible in a single fabrication step. We expand on traditional DSA chemical patterning. Moreover, a blend of lamellar- and cylinder-forming block copolymers assembles on specially designed surface chemical line gratings, leading to the simultaneous formation of coexisting ordered morphologies in separate areas of the substrate. The competing energetics of polymer chain distortions and chemical mismatch with the substrate grating bias the system towards either line/space or dot array patterns, depending on the pitch and linewidth of the prepattern. This contrastsmore » with typical DSA, wherein assembly of a single-component block copolymer on chemical templates generates patterns of either lines/spaces (lamellar) or hexagonal dot arrays (cylinders). In our approach, the chemical template encodes desired local spatial arrangements of coexisting design motifs, self-assembled from a single, sophisticated resist.« less

  20. Selective directed self-assembly of coexisting morphologies using block copolymer blends

    PubMed Central

    Stein, A.; Wright, G.; Yager, K. G.; Doerk, G. S.; Black, C. T.

    2016-01-01

    Directed self-assembly (DSA) of block copolymers is an emergent technique for nano-lithography, but is limited in the range of structures possible in a single fabrication step. Here we expand on traditional DSA chemical patterning. A blend of lamellar- and cylinder-forming block copolymers assembles on specially designed surface chemical line gratings, leading to the simultaneous formation of coexisting ordered morphologies in separate areas of the substrate. The competing energetics of polymer chain distortions and chemical mismatch with the substrate grating bias the system towards either line/space or dot array patterns, depending on the pitch and linewidth of the prepattern. This is in contrast to the typical DSA, wherein assembly of a single-component block copolymer on chemical templates generates patterns of either lines/spaces (lamellar) or hexagonal dot arrays (cylinders). In our approach, the chemical template encodes desired local spatial arrangements of coexisting design motifs, self-assembled from a single, sophisticated resist. PMID:27480327

  1. Tailored Assemblies of Rod-Coil Poly(3-hexylthiophene)-b-Polystyrene Diblock Copolymers: Adaptable Building Blocks for High-Performance Organic Field-Effect Transistors

    SciTech Connect

    Xiao, Kai; Yu, Xiang; Chen, Jihua; Lavrik, Nickolay V; Hong, Kunlun; Sumpter, Bobby; Geohegan, David B

    2011-01-01

    The self-assembly process and resulting structure of a series of conductive diblock copolymer thin films of Poly(3-hexylthiophene)-b-Polystyrene (P3HT-b-PS) have been studied by TEM, SAED, GIXD and AFM and additionally by first principles modeling and simulation. By varying the molecular weight of the P3HT segment, these block copolymers undergo microphase separation and self-assemble into nanostructured sphere, lamellae, nanofiber, and nanoribbon in the films. Within the diblock copolymer thin film, the convalently bonded PS blocks segregated to form amorphous domains, however, the conductive P3HT blocks were crystalline, exhibiting highly-ordered molecular packing with their alkyl side chains aligned along to the normal to the substrate and the - stacking direction of the thiophene rings aligned parallel to the substrate. The conductive P3HY block copolymers exhibited significant improvements in organic feild-effect transistor (OFET) performance and environmental stability as compared to P3HT homopolymers, with up to a factor of two increase in measured moblity (0.08 cm2/Vs ) for the P4 (85 wt% P3HT). Overall, this work demonstrates that the high degree of molecular order induced by bock copolymer phase separation can improve the transport properties and stability of conductive polymer critical for high-performance OFET s.

  2. Self-assembly of Si-containing block copolymers with high-segregation strength: toward sub-10nm features in directed self-assembly

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Reboul, C.; Fleury, G.; Aissou, K.; Brochon, C.; Cloutet, E.; Nicolet, C.; Chevalier, X.; Navarro, C.; Tiron, R.; Cunge, G.; Hadziioannou, G.

    2014-03-01

    Ordered microstructures with nanometrically defined periodicity offer promising opportunities in microelectronic applications for the production of advanced CMOS digital logic circuits. To produce the features and arrays inherent to such technologies, the combination of the "bottom-up" block copolymer self-assembly with "top-down" guiding templates has been successfully introduced leading to new technological breakthroughs. Among the materials used in the direct self-assembly methodology, poly(styrene-b-methylmethacrylate) systems have reached an unprecedented level of maturity which will lead to their introduction into the next technological nodes. However, this system suffers from deficiencies such as a low Flory Huggins parameter (X = 0.04 at 25°C) and a low chemical contrast as regards to the etching processes which could be problematic for targeting sub-22 nm features. Consequently we have developed new systems based on Si-containing block copolymers which are characterized by high segregation strength as well as strong chemical etching contrast. In this contribution, we focus on a poly(lactic acid) / poly(dimethylsiloxane) system exhibiting a cylindrical mesostructure. By controlling the surface energy at the interface between the substrate and the block copolymer domains, we show the possibility to control the orientation of the mesostructure with a methodology comparable to the one used for poly(styrene) / poly(methyl methacrylate) system but with random copolymers having distinct monomers than the block copolymers.

  3. Preparation of superhydrophobic films based on the diblock copolymer P(TFEMA-r-Sty)-b-PCEMA.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Ganwei; Hu, Jiwen; Tu, Yuanyuan; He, Guping; Li, Fei; Zou, Hailiang; Lin, Shudong; Yang, Gonghua

    2015-07-15

    The diblock copolymer poly[2,2,2-trifluoroethyl methacrylate-r-styrene]-block-poly[(2-cinnamoyloxyethyl methacrylate)] [P(TFEMA-r-Sty)-b-PCEMA] was synthesized via atom transfer radical polymerization. The copolymer underwent self-assembly in TFEMA/CH2Cl2 to form spherical micelles. Photo-cross-linking of the PCEMA domains of these micelles yielded cross-linked nanoparticles. The cross-linked nanoparticles were subsequently cast from CH2Cl2/methanol solvent mixtures at methanol volume fractions of more than 30% to yield rough surfaces bearing small nanobumps on micron-sized aggregations that were connected together to form cross-linked nanoparticles. These surfaces were superhydrophobic with a water contact angle of 161 ± 1° and a sliding angle of 6 ± 1°. Spraying these nanoparticles onto substrates exhibiting microscale roughness, such as filter paper, by a traditional coating technique also created superhydrophobic surfaces. A thin layer of nanoscale spherical protrusions was observed on the microscale fibers of filter paper by scanning electron microscopy. The coated filter paper samples exhibited a water contact angle and a sliding angle of 153 ± 1° and 9 ± 1°, respectively. PMID:26145165

  4. Tuning phase structures of a symmetrical diblock copolymer with a patterned electric field.

    PubMed

    Kan, Di; He, Xuehao

    2016-05-11

    Electric fields can induce the orientation of the phase interfaces of block copolymers and provide a potential method to tune polymer phase structures for nanomaterial manufacture. In this work, we applied self-consistent field theory to study the self-assembly of a diblock copolymer confined between two parallel neutral substrates on which a set of electrodes was imposed to form a patterned electric field. The results showed that an alternatively distributed electric field can induce the formation of a parallel lamellar phase structure, which exists stably only in the system with selective substrates. The phase structure was proved to be sensitive to the characteristics of the electric field distribution, such as the strength of the electric field, the size and position of the electrodes, and the corresponding phase diagram was calculated in detail. The transition pathway of the phase structure from the perpendicular layered phase to the parallel layered phase was further analysed using the minimum energy path method. It is shown that the path and the active energy barrier of the phase transition depend on the electric field strength. Compound electric field patterns that can be designed to control the formation of novel and complex microphase structures were also examined. PMID:27102422

  5. Structure and Interactions in Concentrated Diblock Copolymer Solutions

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    McConnell, Glen A.

    We report on investigations of polystyrene/polyisoprene (PS/PI) diblock copolymers suspended in decane using small angle scattering techniques. The primary objective of this research is the understanding of the bulk properties and structure in concentrated diblock copolymers in a solvent selective for one block. In this case, decane is a good solvent for polyisoprene. Suspending PS/PI diblocks in decane at low concentrations produces monodisperse, spherical micelles comprising a dense core of polystyrene and a diffuse corona of polyisoprene. These micelles are well idealized as spherical cores with a fixed number of polyisoprene chains tethered to the surface. Since the local curvature plays an important role in determining the coronal density profile, the core radius and aggregation number are experimentally calculated. This experimental characterization lends each polymeric micelle to a description of the micellar architecture and pair-interaction potential through use of self-consistent mean field equations for tethered-chain systems. We use these pair-potentials to describe the liquid-like interference and disorder-order transition observed experimentally. Gillan's method, subject to a Rogers-Young closure, provides a description of the liquid-state. Density functional theory, specifically the modified weighted density approximation of Denton and Ashcroft, is used to estimate the solid-state. We supplement these calculations with a semi-quantitative phase diagram demonstrating the diversity in phase behavior resulting from tuning the range of the repulsions by varying block asymmetry; the phase diagram includes regions of face-centered cubic (FCC) and body-centered cubic (BCC) crystals depending on the range of the coronal layer thickness relative to the core dimension. In addition to these studies, we conclude with a discussion of the phase behavior of diblock copolymers at concentrations intermediate to those witnessing cubic micellar crystals and the ordered

  6. Self-assembly of inorganic nanoparticle vesicles and tubules driven by tethered linear block copolymers.

    PubMed

    He, Jie; Liu, Yijing; Babu, Taarika; Wei, Zengjiang; Nie, Zhihong

    2012-07-18

    Controllable self-assembly of nanoscale building blocks into larger specific structures provides an effective route for the fabrication of new materials with unique optical, electronic, and magnetic properties. The ability of nanoparticles (NPs) to self-assemble like molecules is opening new research frontiers in nanoscience and nanotechnology. We present a new class of amphiphilic "colloidal molecules" (ACMs) composed of inorganic NPs tethered with amphiphilic linear block copolymers (BCPs). Driven by the conformational changes of tethered BCP chains, such ACMs can self-assemble into well-defined vesicular and tubular nanostructures comprising a monolayer shell of hexagonally packed NPs in selective solvents. The morphologies and geometries of these assemblies can be controlled by the size of NPs and molecular weight of BCPs. Our approach also allows us to control the interparticle distance, thus fine-tuning the plasmonic properties of the assemblies of metal NPs. This strategy provides a general means to design new building blocks for assembling novel functional materials and devices. PMID:22746265

  7. Role of hydrophobic interactions in the self-assembly of alternating copolymers

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Malardier-Jugroot, Cecile; Chan, Anita S. W.; Groves, Michael N.

    2010-03-01

    New nanomaterials already play a key role in several emerging technologies. Among the methods used to fabricate new nanomaterials, the most successful in producing precise structure is the bottom-up method. The materials obtained by self-assembly are ordered on different scales and respond and adapt to the presence of other molecules in their environment [1] and can therefore be used as probes, sensors or switches [2]. In this paper, we will describes the self-assembly of amphiphilic alternating copolymers into nanoarchitectures in aqueous solution. To investigate the role of the nature of the hydrophobic groups on the association, the self-assembly of two polymers are compared: poly(isobutylene-alt-maleic anhydride) (IMA) and poly(styrene-alt-maleic anhydride) (SMA) [3, 4]. The theoretical prediction is also compared to experiment and the characterization using Small Angle Neutron Scattering, Dynamic Light Scattering and High Resolution Transmission Electron Microscopy will be presented in detail. [1] S. Zhang, Nature Biotechnology, 21, 10, 1171, 2003. [2] F. Patolsky, et al., Nanomedicine, 1, 51-65, 2006 [3] C. Malardier-Jugroot, et al., J. of Phys. Chem. B, 109(15), 7022-7032, 2005 [4] A.S.W. Chan, et al., Mol. Sim., accepted for publication, 2009.

  8. Sulfate-based anionic diblock copolymer nanoparticles for efficient occlusion within zinc oxide

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ning, Y.; Fielding, L. A.; Andrews, T. S.; Growney, D. J.; Armes, S. P.

    2015-04-01

    Occlusion of copolymer particles within inorganic crystalline hosts not only provides a model for understanding the crystallisation process, but also may offer a direct route for the preparation of novel nanocomposite materials with emergent properties. In the present paper, a series of new well-defined anionic diblock copolymer nanoparticles are synthesised by polymerisation-induced self-assembly (PISA) via reversible addition-fragmentation chain transfer (RAFT) aqueous emulsion polymerisation and then evaluated as crystal habit modifiers for the in situ formation of ZnO in aqueous solution. Systematic studies indicate that both the chemical nature (i.e. whether sulfate-based or carboxylate-based) and the mean degree of polymerisation (DP) of the anionic stabiliser block play vital roles in determining the crystal morphology. In particular, sulfate-functionalised nanoparticles are efficiently incorporated within the ZnO crystals whereas carboxylate-functionalised nanoparticles are excluded, thus anionic character is a necessary but not sufficient condition for successful occlusion. Moreover, the extent of nanoparticle occlusion within the ZnO phase can be as high as 23% by mass depending on the sulfate-based nanoparticle concentration. The optical properties, chemical composition and crystal structure of the resulting nanocomposite crystals are evaluated and an occlusion mechanism is proposed based on the observed evolution of the ZnO morphology in the presence of sulfate-based anionic nanoparticles. Finally, controlled deposition of a 5 nm gold sol onto porous ZnO particles (produced after calcination of the organic nanoparticles) significantly enhances the rate of photocatalytic decomposition of a model rhodamine B dye on exposure to a relatively weak UV source.Occlusion of copolymer particles within inorganic crystalline hosts not only provides a model for understanding the crystallisation process, but also may offer a direct route for the preparation of novel

  9. Mode-coupling theory of self-diffusion in diblock copolymers I. General derivation and qualitative predictions

    SciTech Connect

    Guenza, M.; Tang, H.; Schweizer, K.S.

    1998-01-01

    A microscopic theory of self-diffusion in diblock copolymer melts and solutions has been developed based on polymeric mode-coupling methods formulated at the level of the time and space correlated interchain excluded volume and chi-parameter forces. Equilibrium structural correlations are determined via microscopic liquid state integral equation or coarse-grained field theoretic methods. The specific dynamical consequences of self-assembly are predicted to depend rather sensitively on temperature, degree of polymerization, copolymer composition and concentration, and local block friction coefficients. The dominant physical effect for entangled diblocks is the retardation of the relaxation time of the interchain excluded volume forces due to the thermodynamically-driven segregation of blocks into microdomains, resulting in suppression of translational motion. Analytic analysis in the long chain limit allows the derivation of new scaling laws relating the self-diffusion constant and chain degree of polymerization and solution concentration. Potential limitations for real copolymer materials associated with the structurally and dynamically isotropic description adopted by the theory are discussed. {copyright} {ital 1998 American Institute of Physics.}

  10. Lamellar diblock copolymer grain boundary morphology. 1. Twist boundary characterization

    SciTech Connect

    Gido, S.P.; Gunther, J.; Thomas, E.L. . Dept. of Materials Science and Engineering); Hoffman, D. . Dept. of Mathematics and Statistics)

    1993-08-16

    Grain boundary morphologies in poly(styrene-b-butadiene) lamellar diblock copolymers were characterized using transmission electron microscopy (TEM). Two types of twist grain boundaries were observed in which microphase separation of the two blocks was maintained in the grain boundary region by intermaterial dividing surfaces that approximate classically known minimal surfaces. The geometry of these interfaces was demonstrated by comparing experimental TEM images with ray tracing computer simulations of the model surfaces as the projection direction was systematically varied in both the experimental and simulated images. The two morphologies observed were found to have intermaterial dividing surfaces that approximate either Scherk's first (doubly periodic) surface or a section of the right helicoid. The helicoid section boundary was observed at low twist angles, less than or equal to about 15. The Scherk surface family of boundary morphologies, which consists of a doubly periodic array of saddle surfaces, was found over the entire twist range from 0 to 90[degree]. As the twist angle approaches 0[degree] the Scherk surface grain boundary morphology is transformed into a single screw dislocation that has an intermaterial dividing surface with the geometry of a single helicoid. Direct TEM imaging of the detailed core structure of this screw dislocation is presented. These images demonstrate that in the lamellar diblock copolymer the screw dislocation core is nonsingular. This nonsingular core structure represents a radical departure from the singular core structures observed in classical studies of dislocations in atomic crystals.

  11. Geometric frustration phases of diblock copolymers in nanoparticles.

    PubMed

    Li, Shiben; Chen, Peng; Zhang, Linxi; Liang, Haojun

    2011-04-19

    The geometric frustration phases are investigated for diblock copolymers in nanoparticles with neutral surfaces using real-space self-consistent field theory. First, a rich variety of geometric frustration phases with specific symmetries are observed in the polymer nanoparticles with invariable diameters by constructing the phase diagrams arranged as the volume fraction and Flory-Huggins interaction parameter. Most of the space in the phase diagram is filled with phases with strong symmetries, such as spherical or cubic symmetries, while a number of asymmetric or axisymmetric phases are located in a narrow space in the diagram. Then the geometric frustration phases are examined systematically for the diblock copolymers with special polymer parameters, and a rich variety of novel frustration phases with multilayered structures are observed by varying the diameters of the nanoparticles. Furthermore, the investigations on the free energies indicate that the transitions between these frustrated phases are first-order, and the formation mechanism of the frustration phases is reasonably elucidated. PMID:21417241

  12. Interactions between plasma and block copolymers used in directed self-assembly patterning

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sirard, Stephen; Azarnouche, Laurent; Gurer, Emir; Durand, William; Maher, Michael; Mori, Kazunori; Blachut, Gregory; Janes, Dustin; Asano, Yusuke; Someya, Yasunobu; Hymes, Diane; Graves, David; Ellison, Christopher J.; Willson, C. Grant

    2016-03-01

    The directed self-assembly (DSA) of block copolymers offers a promising route for scaling feature sizes below 20 nm. At these small dimensions, plasmas are often used to define the initial patterns. It is imperative to understand how plasmas interact with each block in order to design processes with sufficient etch contrast and pattern fidelity. Symmetric lamella forming block copolymers including, polystyrene-b-poly(methyl methacrylate) and several high-χ silicon-containing and tin-containing block copolymers were synthesized, along with homopolymers of each block, and exposed to various oxidizing, reducing, and fluorine-based plasma processes. Etch rate kinetics were measured, and plasma modifications of the materials were characterized using XPS, AES, and FTIR. Mechanisms for achieving etch contrast were elucidated and were highly dependent on the block copolymer architecture. For several of the polymers, plasma photoemissions were observed to play an important role in modifying the materials and forming etch-resistant protective layers. Furthermore, it was observed for the silicon- and tin-containing polymers that an initial transient state exists, where the polymers exhibit an enhanced etch rate, prior to the formation of the etch-resistant protective layer. Plasma developed patterns were demonstrated for the differing block copolymer materials with feature sizes ranging from 20 nm down to approximately 5 nm.

  13. Advantages and limitations of density functional theory in block copolymer directed self-assembly

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Liu, Jimmy; Laachi, Nabil; Delaney, Kris T.; Fredrickson, Glenn H.

    2015-03-01

    A major challenge in the application of block copolymer directed self-assembly (DSA) to advanced lithography is the exploration of large design spaces, including the selection of confinement shape and size, surface chemistry to affect wetting conditions, copolymer chain length and block fraction. To sweep such large spaces, a computational model is ideally both fast and accurate. In this study, we investigate various incarnations of the density functional theory (DFT) approach and evaluate their suitability to DSA applications. We introduce a new optimization scheme to capitalize on the speed advantages of DFT, while minimizing loss of accuracy relative to the benchmark of self-consistent field theory (SCFT). Although current DFT models afford a 100-fold reduction in computational complexity over SCFT, even the best optimized models fail to match SCFT density profiles and make extremely poor predictions of commensurability windows and defect energetics. These limitations suggest that SCFT will remain the gold standard for DSA simulations in the near future.

  14. Thermally Switchable Aligned Nanopores by Magnetic-Field Directed Self-Assembly of Block Copolymers

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Osuji, Chinedum

    2014-03-01

    Magnetic fields provide a facile approach to direct the self-assembly of magnetically anisotropic block copolymer nanostructures in a scalable manner. Here we combine such field-based processing with materials design to enable the fabrication of polymer films with highly aligned stimuli-responsive nanopores. Etch removal of a poly(D,L-lactide) (PLA) brush that is the minority component of a liquid crystalline block copolymer is used to produce nanopores of ~ 8 nm diameter. The pores can be reversibly closed and opened while retaining their alignment by appropriate heating and cooling. We present TEM and temperture resolved scattering data during pore closure and re-opening to explore the mechanism and kinetics of pore collapse. NSF DMR-0847534; DMR-1119826.

  15. Filtration on block copolymer solution used in directed self assembly lithography

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Umeda, Toru; Takakura, Tomoyuki; Tsuzuki, Shuichi

    2016-03-01

    In this paper, we presented the filtration effects on block copolymers (BCP) that are commonly used in directed self-assembly lithographic (DSAL) imaging schemes. Specifically we focused on filtration effects on micro-contaminants such as metal ions and metal induced gels. Gel removal efficiency studies carried out with HDPE, Nylon and PTFE filters pointed out that Nylon 6,6 membrane is the most effective in removing gels in block copolymer (BCP) solutions. Metal removal efficiency studies were conducted using multistep filtrations such as repetitive filtration of single membrane material and combination of different type of membranes. Results showed that a combination of Nylon-6,6 and ion-exchange filters is highly effective in reducing metals such as Li, Mg and Al to > 99.99% efficiency. The mechanism of metal removal efficiency is discussed in detail.

  16. The potential of block copolymer's directed self-assembly for contact hole shrink and contact multiplication

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tiron, R.; Gharbi, A.; Argoud, M.; Chevalier, X.; Belledent, J.; Pimmenta Barros, P.; Servin, I.; Navarro, C.; Cunge, G.; Barnola, S.; Pain, L.; Asai, M.; Pieczulewski, C.

    2013-03-01

    The goal of this paper is to investigate the potential of Directed Self-Assembly (DSA) to address contact via level patterning, by either Critical Dimension (CD) shrink or contact multiplication. Using the 300mm pilot line available in LETI and Arkema materials, our approach is based on the graphoepitaxy of PS-b- PMMA block copolymers (BCP). The process consists in the following steps: a) the lithography of guiding patterns, b) the DSA of block copolymers and PMMA removal and finally c) the transfer of PS patterns into the under-layer by plasma etching. Several integration schemes using 193nm dry lithography are evaluated: negative tone development (NTD) resists, a tri-layer approach, frozen resists, etc. The advantages and limitations of each approach are reported. Furthermore, the impact of the BCP on the final patterns characteristics is investigated by tuning different parameters such as the molecular weight of the polymeric constituents and the interaction with the substrate. The optimization of the self-assembly process parameters in terms of film thickness or bake (temperature and time) is also reported. Finally, the transfer capabilities of the PS nanostructures in bulk silicon substrate by using plasma-etching are detailed. These results show that DSA has a high potential to be integrated directly into the conventional CMOS lithography process in order to achieve high-resolution contact holes. Furthermore, in order to prevent design restrictions, this approach may be extended to more complex structures with multiple contacts and nonhexagonal symmetries.

  17. Cross-sectional imaging of directed self-assembly block copolymers

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Okabe, Kye; Yi, He; Tung, Maryann C.; Tiberio, Richard; Bekaert, Joost; Gronheid, Roel; Wong, H.-S. P.

    2015-03-01

    In this paper we address an important topic for the development of block copolymer directed self assembly, which is the lack of the third dimensional information. The three-dimensional shape of the DSA feature directly impacts the ability to transfer the DSA pattern into etched patterns. Through TEM sample preparation by in-situ focused ion beam (FIB) Pt deposition and milling, we show cross-sectional images for the two most elemental building blocks of directed self assembled block copolymers, namely, the single and double-hole (peanut shape) etched in Si structures with great contrast at the interface formed by PS and PMMA. Additionally, a hard-mask single hole structure processed with a different template material is shown as well. Elemental mapping with energy filtered TEM (EFTEM) was shown to assist interpretation of images. 3D reconstruction of the holes formed in the hard-mask sample was performed using dark field (DF) STEM. A reduction in the SOC and SOG thickness was observed post in-situ Pt deposition for the hard mask structure. Further TEM sample preparation improvements will be needed to minimize the compression observed.

  18. Directed self-assembly of block copolymer films on atomically-thin graphene chemical patterns

    PubMed Central

    Chang, Tzu-Hsuan; Xiong, Shisheng; Jacobberger, Robert M.; Mikael, Solomon; Suh, Hyo Seon; Liu, Chi-Chun; Geng, Dalong; Wang, Xudong; Arnold, Michael S.; Ma, Zhenqiang; Nealey, Paul F.

    2016-01-01

    Directed self-assembly of block copolymers is a scalable method to fabricate well-ordered patterns over the wafer scale with feature sizes below the resolution of conventional lithography. Typically, lithographically-defined prepatterns with varying chemical contrast are used to rationally guide the assembly of block copolymers. The directed self-assembly to obtain accurate registration and alignment is largely influenced by the assembly kinetics. Furthermore, a considerably broad processing window is favored for industrial manufacturing. Using an atomically-thin layer of graphene on germanium, after two simple processing steps, we create a novel chemical pattern to direct the assembly of polystyrene-block-poly(methyl methacrylate). Faster assembly kinetics are observed on graphene/germanium chemical patterns than on conventional chemical patterns based on polymer mats and brushes. This new chemical pattern allows for assembly on a wide range of guiding periods and along designed 90° bending structures. We also achieve density multiplication by a factor of 10, greatly enhancing the pattern resolution. The rapid assembly kinetics, minimal topography, and broad processing window demonstrate the advantages of inorganic chemical patterns composed of hard surfaces. PMID:27528258

  19. Redox-responsive micelles self-assembled from dynamic covalent block copolymers for intracellular drug delivery.

    PubMed

    Yang, Qinglai; Tan, Lianjiang; He, Changyu; Liu, Bingya; Xu, Yuhong; Zhu, Zhenggang; Shao, Zhifeng; Gong, Bing; Shen, Yu-Mei

    2015-04-01

    Redox-responsive micelles self-assembled from dynamic covalent block copolymers with double disulfide linkage in the backbone have been developed successfully. The amphiphilic block copolymers PEG-PLA associated with complementary H-bonding sequences can self-assemble into spherical micelles in aqueous media with sizes from 34 nm to 107 nm with different molar mass of PEG and PLA. Moreover, in vitro drug release analyses indicate that reductive environment can result in triggered drug release profiles. The glutathione (GSH) mediated intracellular drug delivery was investigated against HeLa human cervical carcinoma cell line. Flow cytometry and fluorescence microscopy measurements demonstrated that the micelles exhibited faster drug release in glutathione monoester (GSH-OEt) pretreated HeLa cells than that in the nonpretreated cells. Cytotoxicity assay of DOX-loaded micelles indicated the higher cellular proliferation inhibition against 10 mM of GSH-OEt pretreated HeLa cells than that of the nonpretreated ones. These reduction-responsive, biodegradable and biocompatibility micelles could provide a favorable platform to construct excellent drug delivery systems for cancer therapy. PMID:25662913

  20. Directed self-assembly of block copolymer films on atomically-thin graphene chemical patterns.

    PubMed

    Chang, Tzu-Hsuan; Xiong, Shisheng; Jacobberger, Robert M; Mikael, Solomon; Suh, Hyo Seon; Liu, Chi-Chun; Geng, Dalong; Wang, Xudong; Arnold, Michael S; Ma, Zhenqiang; Nealey, Paul F

    2016-01-01

    Directed self-assembly of block copolymers is a scalable method to fabricate well-ordered patterns over the wafer scale with feature sizes below the resolution of conventional lithography. Typically, lithographically-defined prepatterns with varying chemical contrast are used to rationally guide the assembly of block copolymers. The directed self-assembly to obtain accurate registration and alignment is largely influenced by the assembly kinetics. Furthermore, a considerably broad processing window is favored for industrial manufacturing. Using an atomically-thin layer of graphene on germanium, after two simple processing steps, we create a novel chemical pattern to direct the assembly of polystyrene-block-poly(methyl methacrylate). Faster assembly kinetics are observed on graphene/germanium chemical patterns than on conventional chemical patterns based on polymer mats and brushes. This new chemical pattern allows for assembly on a wide range of guiding periods and along designed 90° bending structures. We also achieve density multiplication by a factor of 10, greatly enhancing the pattern resolution. The rapid assembly kinetics, minimal topography, and broad processing window demonstrate the advantages of inorganic chemical patterns composed of hard surfaces. PMID:27528258

  1. Directed Self-Assembly of Block Copolymers in Thin Films on Polymer Nano-Stripes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lee, Dong-Eun; Kang, Ho-Jong; Lee, Dong Hyun; Nano Functional Materials Lab. Team

    In this study, we report directed self-assembly (DSA) of block copolymers in thin films on nano-stripes of polymers. Unique nano-stripes of poly(tetrafluoro ethylene) (PTFE) having ~20 nm of amplitude and ~200 nm of pitch were simply generated by physically rubbing a PTFE bar on various substrates like Si wafers, glass, and polyimide due to its low friction coefficient and high wear rate. The resulting nano-stripes were extremely oriented along the rubbing direction. Then, various asymmetric polystyrene-block-poly(2-vinylpyridine) copolymers (PS- b-P2VP) were directly self-assembled on the nano-stripes of PTFE by solvent-annealing in vapor of tetrahydrofuran (THF). As a result, PS- b-P2VP exhibited extremely ordered P2VP cylinders oriented normal to the surface in large area on the underlying nano-stripes of PTFE. In addition, as utilizing the BCPs as templates, hexagonal arrays of metal nanoparticles were generated in large area for further application. BCP thin films and arrays of metal nanoparticles were characterized by atomic force microscopy (AFM) and scanning electron microscopy (SEM).

  2. Dissipative particle dynamics simulation study on self-assembly of amphiphilic hyperbranched multiarm copolymers with different degrees of branching.

    PubMed

    Tan, Haina; Wang, Wei; Yu, Chunyang; Zhou, Yongfeng; Lu, Zhongyuan; Yan, Deyue

    2015-11-21

    Hyperbranched multiarm copolymers (HMCs) have shown great potential to be excellent precursors in self-assembly to form various supramolecular structures in all scales and dimensions in solution. However, theoretical studies on the self-assembly of HMCs, especially the self-assembly dynamics and mechanisms, have been greatly lagging behind the experimental progress. Herein, we investigate the effect of degree of branching (DB) on the self-assembly structures of HMCs by dissipative particle dynamics (DPD) simulation. Our simulation results demonstrate that the self-assembly morphologies of HMCs can be changed from spherical micelles, wormlike micelles, to vesicles with the increase of DBs, which are qualitatively consistent with the experimental observations. In addition, both the self-assembly mechanisms and the dynamic processes for the formation of these three aggregates have been systematically disclosed through the simulations. These self-assembly details are difficult to be shown by experiments and are very useful to fully understand the self-assembly behaviors of HMCs. PMID:26364696

  3. Effect of angstrom-scale surface roughness on the self-assembly of polystyrene-polydimethylsiloxane block copolymer

    PubMed Central

    Kundu, Shreya; Ganesan, Ramakrishnan; Gaur, Nikita; Saifullah, Mohammad S. M.; Hussain, Hazrat; Yang, Hyunsoo; Bhatia, Charanjit S.

    2012-01-01

    Self-assembly of block copolymers has been identified as a potential candidate for high density fabrication of nanostructures. However, the factors affecting its reliability and reproducibility as a patterning technique on various kinds of surfaces are not well-established. Studies pertaining to block copolymer self-assembly have been confined to ultra-flat substrates without taking into consideration the effect of surface roughness. Here, we show that a slight change in the angstrom-scale roughness arising from the surface of a material creates a profound effect on the self-assembly of polystyrene-polydimethylsiloxane block copolymer. Its self-assembly was found to be dependent on both the root mean square roughness (Rrms) of the surface and the type of solvent annealing system used. It was observed that surface with Rrms< 5.0 Å showed self-assembly. Above this value, the kinetic hindrance posed by the surface roughness on the block copolymer leads to its conforming to the surface without observable phase separation. PMID:22943003

  4. Development of block co-polymers as self-assembling templates for patterned media.

    SciTech Connect

    Warke, V.; Bakker, M. G.; Hong, K.; Mays, J.; Britt, P.; Li, X.; Wang, J.; X-Ray Science Division; Univ. of Alabama; ORNL

    2006-01-01

    Block copolymers that self-organize are of interest as templates for patterned media, as they potentially provide a low cost fabrication route. Poly(styrene)-Poly(methylmethacrylate) block co-polymers (PS-b-PMMA) of appropriate block length and PS to PMMA ratio self-assemble into a 2-D hexagonal phase in which the PS majority phase is continuous and surrounds cylinders of the minority, PMMA phase. For application of this phase to patterned media it is necessary that the cylinders of the minority phase be oriented perpendicular to the substrate surface. This can be achieved by a number of methods, including appropriate choice of substrate and use of a random co-polymer underlayer. Appropriate substrates include H-terminated silicon, some carbon coatings and some ITO glasses. Use of an acetic acid wash causes the minority PMMA component can be induced to be rearranged, giving rise to pores perpendicular to the substrate. Electrodeposition of a metal into the pores produces a hardmask which can be used with ion-milling to transfer the block co-polymer pattern onto a magnetic thin film.

  5. Porous Diblock Copolymer Thin Films in High-Performance Semiconductor Microelectronics

    SciTech Connect

    Black, C.T.

    2011-02-01

    The engine fueling more than 40 years of performance improvements in semiconductor integrated circuits (ICs) has been industry's ability to pattern circuit elements at ever-higher resolution and with ever-greater precision. Steady advances in photolithography - the process wherein ultraviolet light chemically changes a photosensitive polymer resist material in order to create a latent image - have resulted in scaling of minimum printed feature sizes from tens of microns during the 1980s to sub-50 nanometer transistor gate lengths in today's state-of-the-art ICs. The history of semiconductor technology scaling as well as future technology requirements is documented in the International Technology Roadmap for Semiconductors (ITRS). The progression of the semiconductor industry to the realm of nanometer-scale sizes has brought enormous challenges to device and circuit fabrication, rendering performance improvements by conventional scaling alone increasingly difficult. Most often this discussion is couched in terms of field effect transistor (FET) feature sizes such as the gate length or gate oxide thickness, however these challenges extend to many other aspects of the IC, including interconnect dimensions and pitch, device packing density, power consumption, and heat dissipation. The ITRS Technology Roadmap forecasts a difficult set of scientific and engineering challenges with no presently-known solutions. The primary focus of this chapter is the research performed at IBM on diblock copolymer films composed of polystyrene (PS) and poly(methyl-methacrylate) (PMMA) (PS-b-PMMA) with total molecular weights M{sub n} in the range of {approx}60K (g/mol) and polydispersities (PD) of {approx}1.1. These materials self assemble to form patterns having feature sizes in the range of 15-20nm. PS-b-PMMA was selected as a self-assembling patterning material due to its compatibility with the semiconductor microelectronics manufacturing infrastructure, as well as the significant body

  6. Loading of Silica Nanoparticles in Block Copolymer Vesicles during Polymerization-Induced Self-Assembly: Encapsulation Efficiency and Thermally Triggered Release

    PubMed Central

    2015-01-01

    Poly(glycerol monomethacrylate)-poly(2-hydroxypropyl methacrylate) diblock copolymer vesicles can be prepared in the form of concentrated aqueous dispersions via polymerization-induced self-assembly (PISA). In the present study, these syntheses are conducted in the presence of varying amounts of silica nanoparticles of approximately 18 nm diameter. This approach leads to encapsulation of up to hundreds of silica nanoparticles per vesicle. Silica has high electron contrast compared to the copolymer which facilitates TEM analysis, and its thermal stability enables quantification of the loading efficiency via thermogravimetric analysis. Encapsulation efficiencies can be calculated using disk centrifuge photosedimentometry, since the vesicle density increases at higher silica loadings while the mean vesicle diameter remains essentially unchanged. Small angle X-ray scattering (SAXS) is used to confirm silica encapsulation, since a structure factor is observed at q ≈ 0.25 nm–1. A new two-population model provides satisfactory data fits to the SAXS patterns and allows the mean silica volume fraction within the vesicles to be determined. Finally, the thermoresponsive nature of the diblock copolymer vesicles enables thermally triggered release of the encapsulated silica nanoparticles simply by cooling to 0–10 °C, which induces a morphological transition. These silica-loaded vesicles constitute a useful model system for understanding the encapsulation of globular proteins, enzymes, or antibodies for potential biomedical applications. They may also serve as an active payload for self-healing hydrogels or repair of biological tissue. Finally, we also encapsulate a model globular protein, bovine serum albumin, and calculate its loading efficiency using fluorescence spectroscopy. PMID:26600089

  7. Loading of Silica Nanoparticles in Block Copolymer Vesicles during Polymerization-Induced Self-Assembly: Encapsulation Efficiency and Thermally Triggered Release.

    PubMed

    Mable, Charlotte J; Gibson, Rebecca R; Prevost, Sylvain; McKenzie, Beulah E; Mykhaylyk, Oleksandr O; Armes, Steven P

    2015-12-30

    Poly(glycerol monomethacrylate)-poly(2-hydroxypropyl methacrylate) diblock copolymer vesicles can be prepared in the form of concentrated aqueous dispersions via polymerization-induced self-assembly (PISA). In the present study, these syntheses are conducted in the presence of varying amounts of silica nanoparticles of approximately 18 nm diameter. This approach leads to encapsulation of up to hundreds of silica nanoparticles per vesicle. Silica has high electron contrast compared to the copolymer which facilitates TEM analysis, and its thermal stability enables quantification of the loading efficiency via thermogravimetric analysis. Encapsulation efficiencies can be calculated using disk centrifuge photosedimentometry, since the vesicle density increases at higher silica loadings while the mean vesicle diameter remains essentially unchanged. Small angle X-ray scattering (SAXS) is used to confirm silica encapsulation, since a structure factor is observed at q ≈ 0.25 nm(-1). A new two-population model provides satisfactory data fits to the SAXS patterns and allows the mean silica volume fraction within the vesicles to be determined. Finally, the thermoresponsive nature of the diblock copolymer vesicles enables thermally triggered release of the encapsulated silica nanoparticles simply by cooling to 0-10 °C, which induces a morphological transition. These silica-loaded vesicles constitute a useful model system for understanding the encapsulation of globular proteins, enzymes, or antibodies for potential biomedical applications. They may also serve as an active payload for self-healing hydrogels or repair of biological tissue. Finally, we also encapsulate a model globular protein, bovine serum albumin, and calculate its loading efficiency using fluorescence spectroscopy. PMID:26600089

  8. SEM Technique for Depth Profiling the Morphology of Diblock Copolymer Thin Films

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Harrison, Christopher; Park, Miri; Chaikin, Paul; Register, Richard; Adamson, Doug

    1996-03-01

    We present a novel technique which allows the investigation of thin film diblock copolymer microphase morphology on a variety of substrates and at different film depths. Using a high resolution, low voltage Scanning Electron Microscope (SEM), we examined the topology and underlying morphology of styrene-butadiene diblock copolymer films. In order to enhance the contrast between the styrene and butadiene regions, we stained the butadiene with osmium tetraoxide. The internal morphology of the diblock copolymer film was exposed by using a non-selective fluorine-based reactive ion etching (RIE) technique. By controlling the depth of the RIE, we can effectively peel off one monolayer at a time. By alternating between RIE and SEM, we can examine the diblock copolymer film morphology at different depths. We also investigated the relationship between island formation and internal polymer microstructure. This work was supported by the NSF under DMR 9400362.

  9. Stress induced topographic patterning in thin diblock copolymer films

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Croll, Andrew; Crosby, Alfred

    2011-03-01

    When a thin rigid polymer film is attached to a soft elastic substrate and placed in a state of compressive stress, the system wrinkles as a critical stress is surpassed. This simple deformation pattern contains information about the mechanical state of both the polymer film and substrate. Although classical mechanics can be used to relate the global deformation of the film/substrate to the local wrinkle geometry as a function of materials properties, relatively little is known about how the thin capping film material accommodates the localized bending (and therefore localized stress). Here we conduct wrinkling experiments using a model diblock copolymer/elastomer composite. Wrinkling a homogeneous, disordered block copolymer film places the film in a well-defined initial stress state. When heated above its glass transition, the wrinkled film flows, microphase separates, and relaxes from the stress imposed by local wrinkle deformations. The periodic stress relaxation leads to the emergence of a new pattern in the microphase separated surface structure, thus providing new insight into how block copolymers react to stress.

  10. Molecular Interaction Control in Diblock Copolymer Blends and Multiblock Copolymers with Opposite Phase Behaviors

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cho, Junhan

    2014-03-01

    Here we show how to control molecular interactions via mixing AB and AC diblock copolymers, where one copolymer exhibits upper order-disorder transition and the other does lower disorder-order transition. Linear ABC triblock copolymers possessing both barotropic and baroplastic pairs are also taken into account. A recently developed random-phase approximation (RPA) theory and the self-consistent field theory (SCFT) for general compressible mixtures are used to analyze stability criteria and morphologies for the given systems. It is demonstrated that the copolymer systems can yield a variety of phase behaviors in their temperature and pressure dependence upon proper mixing conditions and compositions, which is caused by the delicate force fields generated in the systems. We acknowledge the financial support from National Research Foundation of Korea and Center for Photofunctional Energy Materials.

  11. Fluctuations in Symmetric Diblock Copolymers: Testing Theories Old and New

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Qin, Jian; Morse, David C.

    2012-06-01

    Computer simulations are used to study composition fluctuations in disordered diblock copolymer melts over a range of values of the chain length N, and test several theories for the structure factor S(q). Specifically, we test the random-phase approximation (RPA), which is based on a self-consistent field treatment of fluctuations, the Fredrickson-Helfand theory, which was designed to describe fluctuations near the order-disorder transition, and the relatively new renormalized one-loop (ROL) theory. The results confirm claims that the RPA is exact in the limit N→∞ and that the ROL theory yields the dominant corrections to the RPA within a systematic expansion in powers of N-1/2, and show that the ROL theory is much more accurate than either older theory.

  12. A new process for fabricating nanodot arrays on selective regions with diblock copolymer thin film

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Park, Dae-Ho

    2007-09-01

    A procedure for micropatterning a single layer of nanodot arrays in selective regions is demonstrated by using thin films of polystyrene-b-poly(t-butyl acrylate) (PS-b-PtBA) diblock copolymer. The thin-film self-assembled into hexagonally arranged PtBA nanodomains in a PS matrix on a substrate by solvent annealing with 1,4-dioxane. The PtBA nanodomains were converted into poly(acrylic acid) (PAA) having carboxylic-acid-functionalized nanodomains by exposure to hydrochloric acid vapor, or were removed by ultraviolet (UV) irradiation to generate vacant sites without any functional groups due to the elimination of PtBA domains. By sequential treatment with aqueous sodium bicarbonate and aqueous zinc acetate solution, zinc cations were selectively loaded only on the carboxylic-acid-functionalized nanodomains prepared via hydrolysis. Macroscopic patterning through a photomask via UV irradiation, hydrolysis, sequential zinc cation loading and calcination left a nanodot array of zinc oxide on a selectively UV-shaded region.

  13. Self-Assembly of Rod-Coil Block Copolymers And Their Application in Electroluminescent Devices

    SciTech Connect

    Tao, Y.; Ma, B.; Segalman, R.A.

    2009-05-26

    The formation of alternating electron transporting and hole transporting 15 nm lamellae within the active layer of an organic light-emitting diode (OLED) is demonstrated to improve device performance. A new multifunctional bipolar rod-coil block copolymer containing a poly(alkoxy phenylenevinylene) (PPV) rod-shaped block as the hole transporting and emitting material and a poly(vinyloxadiazole) coil-shaped electron transporting block is synthesized. This new block copolymer is the active material of a self-assembling multicomponent electroluminescent device that can be deposited in a single step. In the thin film, grazing incidence X-ray scattering and transmission electron microscopy demonstrate that the layers form grains which are oriented bimodally: parallel and perpendicular from the anode. In this mixed orientation, the device demonstrates better performance than those with either pure PPV or a blend of the two analogous homopolymers as the active materials, i.e., higher external quantum efficiency (EQE) and brightness. This improved device performance is mainly attributed to the bipolar functionality and microphase separation of the block copolymer, which provide highly efficient hole and electron recombination at the nanodomain interfaces.

  14. Self-Assembly of Rod-Coil Block Copolymers and Their Application in Electroluminescent Devices

    SciTech Connect

    Tao, Yuefei; Ma, Biwu; Segalman, Rachel A.

    2008-11-18

    The formation of alternating electron transporting and hole transporting 15 nm lamellae within the active layer of an organic light-emitting diode (OLED) is demonstrated to improve device performance. A new multifunctional bipolar rod-coil block copolymer containing a poly(alkoxy phenylenevinylene) (PPV) rod-shaped block as the hole transporting and emitting material and a poly(vinyloxadiazole) coil-shaped electron transporting block is synthesized. This new block copolymer is the active material of a self-assembling multicomponent electroluminescent device that can be deposited in a single step. In the thin film, grazing incidence X-ray scattering and transmission electron microscopy demonstrate that the layers form grains which are oriented bimodally: parallel and perpendicular from the anode. In this mixed orientation, the device demonstrates better performance than those with either pure PPV or a blend of the two analogous homopolymers as the active materials, i.e., higher external quantum efficiency (EQE) and brightness. This improved device performance is mainly attributed to the bipolar functionality and microphase separation of the block copolymer, which provide highly efficient hole and electron recombination at the nanodomain interfaces.

  15. Self-Assembly and Relaxation Behavior of Graphene Containing Acrylic Triblock Copolymer Gels

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zabet, Mahla; Hashemnejad, Seyedmeysam; Kundu, Santanu

    2015-03-01

    Investigation of gel mechanical properties as a function of their structure is a significant research interest. This study presents the effect of graphene (or few-layer graphene) on the self-assembly and the relaxation behavior of a thermoreversible gel consists of a physically cross-linked poly (methyl methacrylate)-poly (n-butyl acrylate)-poly (methyl methacrylate) [PMMA-PnBA-PMMA] triblock copolymer in 2-ethyl-1-hexanol, a midblock selective solvent. Graphene was obtained by sonicating exfoliated graphite in 2-ethyl-1-hexanol at various concentrations. Filtration technique and spectrophotometry were utilized to measure the graphene concentration in the dispersions. The dispersed graphene was then incorporated in a series of gels and the effect of graphene on mechanical properties, including the relaxation behavior were studied. Small angle X-ray scattering (SAXS) was used to investigate the microstructure of these gels at room temperature. SAXS data were analyzed to estimate the number of end blocks per junction zone, the average spacing between the junctions, and the change of these properties as a function of graphene concentration. The results indicate that the presence of graphene affects the self-assembly process.

  16. Amphiphilic Graft Copolymer Nanospheres: From Colloidal Self-Assembly to CO2 Capture Membranes.

    PubMed

    Jeon, Harim; Kim, Dong Jun; Park, Min Su; Ryu, Du Yeol; Kim, Jong Hak

    2016-04-13

    Colloidal nanosphere self-assembly effectively generates ordered nanostructures, prompting tremendous interest in many applications such as photonic crystals and templates for inverse opal fabrication. Here we report the self-assembly of low-cost, graft copolymer nanospheres for CO2 capture membranes. Specifically, poly(dimethylsiloxane)-graft-poly(4-vinylpyridine) (PDMS-g-P4VP) is synthesized via one-pot, free radical dispersion polymerization to give discrete monodisperse nanospheres. These nanospheres comprise a surface-anchored highly permeable PDMS layer and internal CO2-philic P4VP spherical core. Their diameter is controllable below the submicrometer range by varying grafting ratios. The colloidal dispersion forms a long-range, close-packed hexagonal array on a substrate by inclined deposition and convective assembly. The array shows dispersion medium-dependent packing characteristics. A thermodynamic correlation is determined using different solvents to obtain stable PDMS-g-P4VP dispersions and interpreted in terms of Flory-Huggins interaction parameter. As a proof-of-concept, the implementation of these nanospheres into membranes simultaneously enhances the CO2 permeability and CO2/N2 selectivity of PDMS-based transport matrixes. Upon physical aging of the solution, the CO2/N2 selectivity is improved up to 26, one of the highest values for highly permeable PDMS-based polymeric membranes. PMID:27004536

  17. Directed block copolymer self-assembly implemented via surface-embedded electrets

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wu, Mei-Ling; Wang, Dong; Wan, Li-Jun

    2016-02-01

    Block copolymer (BCP) nanolithography is widely recognized as a promising complementary approach to circumvent the feature size limits of conventional photolithography. The directed self-assembly of BCP thin film to form ordered nanostructures with controlled orientation and localized pattern has been the key challenge for practical nanolithography applications. Here we show that BCP nanopatterns can be directed on localized surface electrets defined by electron-beam irradiation to realize diverse features in a simple, effective and non-destructive manner. Charged electrets can generate a built-in electric field in BCP thin film and induce the formation of perpendicularly oriented microdomain of BCP film. The electret-directed orientation control of BCP film can be either integrated with mask-based patterning technique or realized by electron-beam direct-writing method to fabricate microscale arbitrary lateral patterns down to single BCP cylinder nanopattern. The electret-directed BCP self-assembly could provide an alternative means for BCP-based nanolithography, with high resolution.

  18. Synthesis and self-assembly of temperature and anion double responsive ionic liquid block copolymers

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Liang, Ju; Wu, Wenlan; Li, Junbo; Han, Chen; Zhang, Shijie; Guo, Jinwu; Zhou, Huiyun

    2015-09-01

    In this paper, double hydrophilic ionic liquid block copolymers (ILBCs), poly(N-isopropylacrylamide)-block-poly[1-methyl-3-(2-methacryloyloxy propylimidazolium bromine)] (PNIPAM- b-PMMPImB), were polymerized by two-step reversible addition-fragmentation chain transfer (RAFT) process. The composition and molecular weight distributions of ILBCs were characterized using 1HNMR and gel permeation chromatography (GPC). The self-assembly and temperature- and anion-responsive behaviors of ILBCs were investigated by UV-Vis spectroscopy, TEM and dynamic light scattering (DLS). With increasing the concentration of (CF3SO2)2N-, the micellization of self-assembling PNIPAM- b-PMMPImB was induced to form a core—shell structure containing the core with hydrophilic PMMPIm-(CF3SO2)2N- surrounded by the shell of PNIPAM via the anion-responsive properties of ILBCs. However, upon temperature increasing, PNIPAM- b-PMMPImB formed the micelles composing of PNIPAM core and PMMPImB shell. The ionic liquid segment with strong hydrophilic property enhanced the hydrogen bonding interaction which expanded the temperature range of phase transition and increased the lower critical solution temperature (LCST) of the system. These results indicate that ILBCs prepared in this paper have excellent temperature and anion double responsive properties, and may be applied as a kind of potential environmental responsive polymer nanoparticles.

  19. Molecular transport through nanoporous silicon nitride membranes produced from self-assembling block copolymers.

    PubMed

    Montagne, Franck; Blondiaux, Nicolas; Bojko, Alexandre; Pugin, Raphaël

    2012-09-28

    To achieve fast and selective molecular filtration, membrane materials must ideally exhibit a thin porous skin and a high density of pores with a narrow size distribution. Here, we report the fabrication of nanoporous silicon nitride membranes (NSiMs) at the full wafer scale using a versatile process combining block copolymer (BCP) self-assembly and conventional photolithography/etching techniques. In our method, self-assembled BCP micelles are used as templates for creating sub-100 nm nanopores in a thin low-stress silicon nitride layer, which is then released from the underlying silicon wafer by etching. The process yields 100 nm thick free-standing NSiMs of various lateral dimensions (up to a few mm(2)). We show that the membranes exhibit a high pore density, while still retaining excellent mechanical strength. Permeation experiments reveal that the molecular transport rate across NSiMs is up to 16-fold faster than that of commercial polymeric membranes. Moreover, using dextran molecules of various molecular weights, we also demonstrate that size-based separation can be achieved with a very good selectivity. These new silicon nanosieves offer a relevant technological alternative to commercially available ultra- and microfiltration membranes for conducting high resolution biomolecular separations at small scales. PMID:22899238

  20. NaCl-triggered self-assembly of hydrophilic poloxamine block copolymers.

    PubMed

    Bahadur, Anita; Cabana-Montenegro, Sonia; Aswal, Vinod Kumar; Lage, Emilio V; Sandez-Macho, Isabel; Concheiro, Angel; Alvarez-Lorenzo, Carmen; Bahadur, Pratap

    2015-10-15

    Tetronic 1307 (T1307) is a hydrophilic poloxamine (HLB>24) with a high molecular mass owing to its long PEO and PPO blocks. In spite of good biocompatibility, its use as a component of drug delivery systems is limited by its high critical micelle concentration (CMC) and temperature (CMT). The aim of this work was to elucidate whether the addition of NaCl or the combination of salts and temperature may bring T1307 micellization and gelling features into more practically useful values. Increasing NaCl concentration in the 0.154 M (isotonic) to 2M (hypertonic) range made the copolymer more hydrophobic and more prone to self-assemble into unimodal micelles, as observed by means of π-A isotherms, (1)H NMR, dynamic light scattering (DLS), small-angle neutron scattering (SANS), and pyrene fluorescence. The decrease in CMC and CMT observed for T1307 in 0.5 M NaCl medium (tolerable hypertonic solution), compared to water, notably favored the solubility of hydrophobic drugs such as curcumin and quercetin. Moreover, phase diagram, intrinsic viscosity and sol-to-gel transition were markedly affected by NaCl concentration. Overall, the strong dependence of T1307 self-assembly features on NaCl opens interesting possibilities for tuning the performance of T1307 as a component of nanocarriers and in situ gelling systems. PMID:26315124

  1. Building non-tortuous ion-conduction pathways using self-assembled block copolymers

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kim, Onnuri; Park, Moon Jeong

    Ion-containing polymers with self-assembled morphologies are becoming important ingredients of a wide range of electrochemical devices such as lithium-ion batteries, fuel cells and electroactive actuators. Although several studies have reported the relationship between morphologies and ion transport properties of such polymers, the most of quantitative analysis have been limited to two-dimensional morphologies as they occupy a large window of the phase diagrams. In present study, we investigated the effects of morphology on the ion transport efficiency with a focus on three-dimensional symmetry. A range of three-dimensional self-assembled morphologies, i.e., ill-defined cubic, orthorhombic network (O70) , and face-centered cubic phases (fcc) were achieved for a single sulfonated block copolymer upon the addition of non-stoichiometric ionic liquids. The type of three-dimensional lattice was found out to play a crucial role in determining the ion transport properties of composite membranes, where the most efficient ion-conduction was demonstrated for fcc phases with lowest tortuosity of 1 over orthorhombic networks phases (tortuosity:1.5). This intriguing result suggests a new avenue to designing polymer electrolytes with improved transport properties.

  2. Directed block copolymer self-assembly implemented via surface-embedded electrets

    PubMed Central

    Wu, Mei-Ling; Wang, Dong; Wan, Li-Jun

    2016-01-01

    Block copolymer (BCP) nanolithography is widely recognized as a promising complementary approach to circumvent the feature size limits of conventional photolithography. The directed self-assembly of BCP thin film to form ordered nanostructures with controlled orientation and localized pattern has been the key challenge for practical nanolithography applications. Here we show that BCP nanopatterns can be directed on localized surface electrets defined by electron-beam irradiation to realize diverse features in a simple, effective and non-destructive manner. Charged electrets can generate a built-in electric field in BCP thin film and induce the formation of perpendicularly oriented microdomain of BCP film. The electret-directed orientation control of BCP film can be either integrated with mask-based patterning technique or realized by electron-beam direct-writing method to fabricate microscale arbitrary lateral patterns down to single BCP cylinder nanopattern. The electret-directed BCP self-assembly could provide an alternative means for BCP-based nanolithography, with high resolution. PMID:26876792

  3. Thermoresponsive Nanoparticles of Self-Assembled Block Copolymers as Potential Carriers for Drug Delivery and Diagnostics.

    PubMed

    Rahikkala, Antti; Aseyev, Vladimir; Tenhu, Heikki; Kauppinen, Esko I; Raula, Janne

    2015-09-14

    Thermally responsive hydrogel nanoparticles composed of self-assembled polystyrene-b-poly(N-isopropylacrylamide)-b-polystyrene block copolymers and fluorescent probe 1-anilinonaphthalene-8-sulfonic acid have been prepared by aerosol flow reactor method. We aimed exploring the relationship of intraparticle morphologies, that were, PS spheres and gyroids embedded in PNIPAm matrix, as well PS-PNIPAm lamellar structure, to probe release in aqueous solution below and above the cloud point temperature (CPT) of PNIPAm. The release was detected by fluorescence emission given by the probe binding to bovine serum albumin. Also, the colloidal behavior of hydrogel nanoparticles at varying temperatures were examined by scattering method. The probe release was faster below than above the CPT from all the morphologies of which gyroidal morphology showed the highest release. Colloidal behavior varied from single to moderately aggregated particles in order spheres-gyroids-lamellar. Hydrogel nanoparticles with tunable intra particle self-assembled morphologies can be utilized designing carrier systems for drug delivery and diagnostics. PMID:26207325

  4. Directed block copolymer self-assembly implemented via surface-embedded electrets.

    PubMed

    Wu, Mei-Ling; Wang, Dong; Wan, Li-Jun

    2016-01-01

    Block copolymer (BCP) nanolithography is widely recognized as a promising complementary approach to circumvent the feature size limits of conventional photolithography. The directed self-assembly of BCP thin film to form ordered nanostructures with controlled orientation and localized pattern has been the key challenge for practical nanolithography applications. Here we show that BCP nanopatterns can be directed on localized surface electrets defined by electron-beam irradiation to realize diverse features in a simple, effective and non-destructive manner. Charged electrets can generate a built-in electric field in BCP thin film and induce the formation of perpendicularly oriented microdomain of BCP film. The electret-directed orientation control of BCP film can be either integrated with mask-based patterning technique or realized by electron-beam direct-writing method to fabricate microscale arbitrary lateral patterns down to single BCP cylinder nanopattern. The electret-directed BCP self-assembly could provide an alternative means for BCP-based nanolithography, with high resolution. PMID:26876792

  5. Transport of nanoparticulate material in self-assembled block copolymer micelle solutions and crystals.

    PubMed

    Cheng, Vicki A; Walker, Lynn M

    2016-04-12

    Water soluble poly(ethylene oxide)-poly(propylene oxide)-poly(ethylene oxide) [PEO-PPO-PEO] triblock copolymers self-assemble into thermoreversible micellar crystals comprised of periodically spaced micelles. The micelles have PPO cores surrounded by hydrated PEO coronas and the dimensions of the unit cell of the organized micelles is on the order of several to tens of nanometers. Fluorescence recovery after photobleaching (FRAP) is used to quantify nanoparticle transport in these nanostructured polymer micelle systems. Diffusivity of bovine serum albumin (BSA, Dh ∼ 7 nm) is quantified across a wide range of polymer, or micelle, concentrations covering both the disordered fluid as well as the structured micellar crystal to understand the effects of nanoscale structure on particle transport. Measured particle diffusivity in these micellar systems is reduced by as much as four orders of magnitude when compared to diffusivity in free solution. Diffusivity in the disordered micellar fluid is best understood in terms of diffusion through a polymeric solution, while transport in the structured micellar phase is possibly due to hopping between interstitial sites. These results not only show that the nanoscale structures of the micelles have a measureable impact on particle diffusivity, but also demonstrate the ability to tune nanoscale transport in self-assembled materials. PMID:26796632

  6. Creating periodic local strain in monolayer graphene with nanopillars patterned by self-assembled block copolymer

    SciTech Connect

    Mi, Hongyi; Mikael, Solomon; Seo, Jung-Hun; Gui, Gui; Ma, Alice L.; Ma, Zhenqiang E-mail: mazq@engr.wisc.edu; Liu, Chi-Chun; Nealey, Paul F. E-mail: mazq@engr.wisc.edu

    2015-10-05

    A simple and viable method was developed to produce biaxial strain in monolayer graphene on an array of SiO{sub 2} nanopillars. The array of SiO{sub 2} nanopillars (1 cm{sup 2} in area, 80 nm in height, and 40 nm in pitch) was fabricated by employing self-assembled block copolymer through simple dry etching and deposition processes. According to high resolution micro-Raman spectroscopy and atomic force microscopy analyses, 0.9% of maximum biaxial tensile strain and 0.17% of averaged biaxial tensile strain in graphene were created. This technique provides a simple and viable method to form biaxial tensile strain in graphene and offers a practical platform for future studies in graphene strain engineering.

  7. Nanostructured Colloidal Particles by Confined Self-Assembly of Block Copolymers in Evaporative Droplets

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kim, Minsoo; Yi, Gi-Ra

    2015-06-01

    Block copolymers (BCPs) can create various morphology by self-assembly in bulk or film. Recently, using BCPs in confined geometries such as thin film (one-dimension), cylindrical template (two-dimension), or emulsion droplet (three-dimension), nanostructured BCP particles have been prepared, in which unique nanostructures of the BCP are formed via solvent annealing process and can be controlled depending on molecular weight ratio and interaction parameter of the BCPs, and droplet size. Moreover, by tuning interfacial property of the BCP particles, anisotropic particles with unique nanostructures have been prepared. Furthermore, for practical application such as drug delivery system, sensor, self-healing, metamaterial, and optoelectronic device, functional nanoparticles can be incorporated inside BCP particles. In this article, we summarize recent progress on the production of structured BCP particles and composite particles with metallic nanoparticles.

  8. ELEMENTARY APPROACH TO SELF-ASSEMBLY AND ELASTIC PROPERTIES OF RANDOM COPOLYMERS

    SciTech Connect

    S. M. CHITANVIS

    2000-10-01

    The authors have mapped the physics of a system of random copolymers onto a time-dependent density functional-type field theory using techniques of functional integration. Time in the theory is merely a label for the location of a given monomer along the extent of a flexible chain. We derive heuristically within this approach a non-local constraint which prevents segments on chains in the system from straying too far from each other, and leads to self-assembly. The structure factor is then computed in a straightforward fashion. The long wave-length limit of the structure factor is used to obtain the elastic modulus of the network. It is shown that there is a surprising competition between the degree of micro-phase separation and the elastic moduli of the system.

  9. Placement error in directed self-assembly of block copolymers for contact hole application

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bouanani, Shayma; Tiron, Raluca; Bos, Sandra; Gharbi, Ahmed; Barros, Patricia Pimenta; Hazart, Jérôme; Robert, Frédéric; Lapeyre, Céline; Ostrovsky, Alain; Monget, Cédric

    2016-04-01

    Directed self-assembly (DSA) of block copolymers has shown interesting results for contact hole application, as a vertical interconnection access for CMOS sub-10 nm technology. The control of critical dimension uniformity (CDU), defectivity, and placement error (PE) is challenging and depends on multiple processes and material parameters. This paper reports the work done using the 300-mm pilot line available in materials to integrate the DSA process on contact and via level patterning. In the first part, a reliable methodology for PE measurement is defined. By tuning intrinsic edge detection parameters on standard reference images, the working window is determined. The methodology is then implemented to analyze the experimental data. The impact of the planarization process on PE and the importance of PE as a complement of CDU and hole open yield for process window determination are discussed.

  10. From multi-responsive tri- and diblock copolymers to diblock-copolymer-decorated gold nanoparticles: the effect of architecture on micellization behaviors in aqueous solutions.

    PubMed

    Song, Lichun; Sun, Hui; Chen, Xiaolu; Han, Xia; Liu, Honglai

    2015-06-28

    This work reports on the aqueous stimuli-responsive behaviors of an ABA triblock copolymer, a BAB triblock copolymer, an AB diblock copolymer and citrate-based gold nanoparticles decorated with AB diblock copolymers (where A is the pH- and thermo-responsive poly[N,N-(dimethylamino)ethyl methacrylate] (PDMAEMA) and B is the thermo-responsive poly[2-(2-methoxyethoxy)ethyl methacrylate] (PMEO2MA)). The symmetric triblock polymers were synthesized via sequential atom transfer radical polymerization (ATRP) using a disulfide-functionalized initiator. Subsequently, the thiol-ended diblock copolymers were facilely obtained by reducing these triblock copolymers and were grafted onto gold nanoparticle (AuNP) surfaces via ligand exchange to yield stimuli-sensitive gold nanoparticles (Au@AB and Au@BA). The ABA and BAB triblock copolymers exhibited two-step thermo-induced aggregation behavior in water at a pH near the isoelectric point (IEP), which resulted in the formation of micelles after the first lower critical solution temperature (LCST) and large aggregates consisting of clustered micelles above the second LCST transition. The significant difference between the micelle sizes of the ABA and BAB copolymers, such that the micelle size of the BAB copolymer was smaller than that of the ABA copolymer although both had a similar unit composition, suggests a distinction between the micelle structures. The "branch" and "flower-like" micelles that are formed in the ABA and BAB aqueous solutions, respectively, ultimately governed the phase transition behaviors. The AB diblock copolymer exhibited similar micellization behavior and a micelle size roughly similar to that of the ABA triblock copolymer, although the chain length of the AB copolymer is only half that of the ABA copolymer. Both Au@PDMAEMA-PMEO2MA and Au@PMEO2MA-PDMAEMA showed similar dual LCST behaviors and pH-responsive behaviors in aqueous solutions without the addition of salt. A significant difference was observed

  11. Clear antismudge unimolecular coatings of diblock copolymers on glass plates.

    PubMed

    Macoretta, Danielle; Rabnawaz, Muhammad; Grozea, Claudia M; Liu, Guojun; Wang, Yu; Crumblehulme, Alison; Wyer, Martin

    2014-12-10

    Two poly[3-(triisopropyloxysilyl)propyl methacrylate]-block-poly[2-(perfluorooctyl)ethyl methacrylate] (PIPSMA-b-PFOEMA) samples and one poly(perfluoropropylene oxide)-block-poly-[3-(triisopropyloxysilyl)propyl methacrylate] (PFPO-b-PIPSMA) sample were synthesized, characterized, and used to coat glass plates. These coatings were formed by evaporating a dilute polymer solution containing HCl, which catalyzed PIPSMA's sol-gel chemistry. Polymer usage was minimized by targeting at diblock copolymer unimolecular (brush) layers that consisted of a sol-gelled grafted PIPSMA layer and an oil- and water-repellant fluorinated surface layer. Investigated is the effect of varying the catalyst amount, polymer amount, as well as block copolymer type and composition on the structure, morphology, and oil- and water-repellency of the coatings. Under optimized conditions, the prepared coatings were optically clear and resistant to writing by a permanent marker. The marker's trace was the faintest on PFPO-b-PIPSMA coatings. In addition, the PFPO-b-PIPSMA coatings were far more wear-resistant than the PIPSMA-b-PFOEMA coatings. PMID:25399630

  12. Sulfate-based anionic diblock copolymer nanoparticles for efficient occlusion within zinc oxide.

    PubMed

    Ning, Y; Fielding, L A; Andrews, T S; Growney, D J; Armes, S P

    2015-04-21

    Occlusion of copolymer particles within inorganic crystalline hosts not only provides a model for understanding the crystallisation process, but also may offer a direct route for the preparation of novel nanocomposite materials with emergent properties. In the present paper, a series of new well-defined anionic diblock copolymer nanoparticles are synthesised by polymerisation-induced self-assembly (PISA) via reversible addition-fragmentation chain transfer (RAFT) aqueous emulsion polymerisation and then evaluated as crystal habit modifiers for the in situ formation of ZnO in aqueous solution. Systematic studies indicate that both the chemical nature (i.e. whether sulfate-based or carboxylate-based) and the mean degree of polymerisation (DP) of the anionic stabiliser block play vital roles in determining the crystal morphology. In particular, sulfate-functionalised nanoparticles are efficiently incorporated within the ZnO crystals whereas carboxylate-functionalised nanoparticles are excluded, thus anionic character is a necessary but not sufficient condition for successful occlusion. Moreover, the extent of nanoparticle occlusion within the ZnO phase can be as high as 23% by mass depending on the sulfate-based nanoparticle concentration. The optical properties, chemical composition and crystal structure of the resulting nanocomposite crystals are evaluated and an occlusion mechanism is proposed based on the observed evolution of the ZnO morphology in the presence of sulfate-based anionic nanoparticles. Finally, controlled deposition of a 5 nm gold sol onto porous ZnO particles (produced after calcination of the organic nanoparticles) significantly enhances the rate of photocatalytic decomposition of a model rhodamine B dye on exposure to a relatively weak UV source. PMID:25799462

  13. Thermodynamics of Polymer Adsorption onto Nanoporous Silica and its Application in the Large Scale Purification of Poly(styrene)-block-Poly(alkyl methacrylate) Diblock Copolymers

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Abdulahad, Asem Irfan

    As a result of unavoidable inconsistencies in their synthesis via controlled radical polymerization techniques, block copolymers inherently have distributions in chemical composition and molecular weight in each block that can have significant impact on their viscoelastic properties as well as their ability to self-assemble into ordered phases. High performance liquid chromatography is routinely utilized for determining the average molecular weight distribution that exist in synthetic polymers and is becoming increasingly popular for the fractionation and purification of chemically diverse complex polymer materials such as diblock copolymers. However, the inability of HPLC fractionation to provide meaningful quantities of purified complex polymers makes this method extremely inefficient and limits the ability to characterize purified fractions further. Overall, this dissertation work can be digested in two distinct parts. In the first part, high performance liquid chromatography was used as a tool for studying the influential parameters affecting the critical adsorption point of poly(styrene) and poly(alkyl methacrylate) homopolymers. The understanding gained in the first portion was depended on for the development of large scale fractionation procedures. In the second part, a chemically diverse variety of poly(alkyl methacrylate)-block-poly(styrene) diblock copolymers synthesized by atom transfer radical polymerization and anionic polymerization were purified by large scale adsorption-based fractionation procedures that included chromatographic filtration and the sequential adsorption/desorption of bulk diblock copolymer materials. The impact of diblock copolymer purification is addressed by comparing the molecular weight distribution, chemical composition distribution, viscoelastic properties, and small-angle X-ray scattering profiles.

  14. Simulation study of the effect of molar mass dispersity on domain interfacial roughness in lamellae forming block copolymers for directed self-assembly.

    PubMed

    Peters, Andrew J; Lawson, Richard A; Nation, Benjamin D; Ludovice, Peter J; Henderson, Clifford L

    2015-09-25

    A coarse-grained molecular dynamics model was used to study the thin film self-assembly and resulting pattern properties of block copolymer (BCP) systems with various molar mass dispersities. Diblock copolymers (i.e. A-b-B type) were simulated in an aligned lamellar state, which is one of the most common patterns of potential use for integrated circuit fabrication via directed self-assembly of BCPs. Effects of the molar mass dispersity (Ð) on feature pitch and interfacial roughness, which are critical lithographic parameters that have a direct impact on integrated circuit performance, were simulated. It was found that for a realistic distribution of polymer molecular weights, modeled by a Wesslau distribution, both line edge roughness (LER) and line width roughness (LWR) increase approximately linearly with increasing Ð, up to ∼45% of the monodisperse value at Р= 1.5. Mechanisms of compensation for increased A-A and B-B roughness were considered. It was found that long and short chain positions were not correlated, and that long chains were significantly deformed in shape. The increase in LWR was due to the increase in LER and a constant correlation between the line edges. Unaligned systems show a correlation between domain width and local molecular weight, while systems aligned on an alternating pattern of A and B lines did not show any correlation. When the volume fraction of individual chains was allowed to vary, similar results were found when considering the Ð of the block as opposed to the Ð of the entire system. PMID:26335174

  15. Brownian dynamics simulation study on the self-assembly of incompatible star-like block copolymers in dilute solution.

    PubMed

    Li, Bin; Zhu, You-Liang; Liu, Hong; Lu, Zhong-Yuan

    2012-04-14

    We study the self-assembly of symmetric star-like block copolymers (A(x))(y)(B(x))(y)C in dilute solution by using Brownian dynamics simulations. In the star-like block copolymer, incompatible A and B components are both solvophobic, and connected to the center bead C of the polymer. Therefore, this star-like block copolymer can be taken as a representative of soft and deformable Janus particles. In our Brownian dynamics simulations, these "soft Janus particles" are found to self-assemble into worm-like lamellar structures, loose aggregates and so on. By systematically varying solvent conditions and temperature, we build up the phase diagram to illustrate the effects of polymer structure and temperature on the aggregate structures. At lower temperatures, we can observe large worm-like lamellar aggregates. Upon increasing the temperature, some block copolymers detach from the aggregate; this phenomenon is especially sensitive for the polymers with less arms. The aggregate structure will be quite disordered when the temperature is high. The incompatibility between the two parts in the star-like block copolymer also affects the self-assembled structures. We find that the worm-like structure is longer and narrower as the incompatibility between the two parts is stronger. PMID:22395808

  16. Synthesis and characterization of mesoporous zirconia nanocomposite using self-assembled block copolymer template

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ge, Qinwen

    Mesoporous zirconia has properties such as high surface area, uniform pore size distribution, and large pore volume, thus attracting great attention from the research community. Self-assembled structures have been used as directing agents to synthesize mesoporous zirconia. Here, we investigated the use of block copolymers conjugated to cationic biomolecules such as lysozyme, as well as cationic block copolymers as templates to synthesize mesoporous zirconia in completely aqueous media. Based on the Pluronic-lysozyme conjugate template, we further studied the effects of preparation conditions, including calcination temperature, precursor concentration, and precipitating pH. Several technics such as TGA, XRD, TEM, and N2 sorption were employed to characterize the zirconia samples. The results showed that tetragonal zirconia started to form after 300°C calcination and became fully crystallized after 500°C, grew larger when heated to higher temperatures, and began to form monoclinic phase after 900°C calcination. Our modified templates enhanced the thermal stability and increased the surface area of zirconia samples. The results also indicated that low precursor concentration and alkali media helped to decrease the zirconia particle size as well as increase the specific surface area. The surface area of the as-synthesized zirconia sample exhibited an increase before 500°C and a decrease after that, the highest specific surface area, 348 m2/g, achieved after 500°C calcination which was obtained using 0.08mol/L precursor at pH=10.

  17. Membranes with artificial free-volume enabled by block copolymer self-assembly

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Petzetakis, Nikos; Balsara, Nitash

    2015-03-01

    There has been considerable success towards the development of polymeric porous materials with pore sizes in the meso- or macro-scale regime. However, manipulation of polymer porosity in the micro-scale (pore diameter < 2nm) remains challenging. Previous studies relied on changes on the chemical composition and structure of the polymeric material in order to achieve the formation of larger fractional free volume. In the present report we demonstrate a methodology with which we can force a polymeric material away from structural equilibrium and then kinetically arrest it at this -out of equilibrium- state, ultimately, enabling the creation of a polymeric material with artificial free volume. Our methodology is based on block copolymer/homopolymer binary blend self-assembly where the membranes are made by first creating a heterogeneous film of a ABA type triblock copolymer containing a soluble homopolymer, B. Then in a second washing step the soluble homopolymer chains are dissolved away. The volume fraction of the composite membrane occupied initially by chains of homopolymer B is now converted to extra free volume in the microphase of block B. Key role of block A is to kinetically arrest the structure of the polymer during and after the washing step.

  18. Tuning Ordered Pattern of Pd Species through Controlled Block Copolymer Self-Assembly.

    PubMed

    De Rosa, Claudio; Auriemma, Finizia; Malafronte, Anna; Di Girolamo, Rocco; Lazzari, Massimo; Nieto-Suárez, Marina; Hermida-Merino, Daniel; Hamley, Ian William; Portale, Giuseppe

    2016-07-14

    We report a method for the preparation of ordered patterns of Pd species on a substrate based on the use of polystyrene-block-poly(ethylene oxide) copolymer (PS-b-PEO) templates and selective inclusion of palladium (Pd) species in the PEO domains. PS-b-PEO samples of different total molecular masses self-assemble in a cylindrical microphase-separated morphology, in which vertically aligned PEO cylinders, with different diameters depending on the molecular mass, are organized in a hexagonal array of different lateral spacings. The cylindrical nanostructure is maintained after the selective inclusion of Pd species (Pd acetate and Pd nanoparticles (NPs) after reduction of Pd ions of the salt) in the PEO cylinders so that the characteristic sizes (diameters and lateral spacings) of the included Pd species are tuned by the characteristic sizes of the block copolymer (BCP) template, which are regulated by molecular mass. Treatment of nanocomposites at elevated temperatures in air removes the polymer matrix and leads to the formation of arrays of palladium oxide (PdO) NPs covering a solid support. The patterns of PdO NPs are characterized by different particle diameters and gap distances, mirroring the patterns and characteristic nanodimensions of the parent BCPs used as templates. PMID:27286502

  19. Polydispersity-Driven Block Copolymer Amphiphile Self-Assembly into Prolate-Spheroid Micelles

    SciTech Connect

    Schmitt, Andrew L.; Repollet-Pedrosa, Milton H.; Mahanthappa, Mahesh K.

    2013-09-26

    The aqueous self-assembly behavior of polydisperse poly(ethylene oxide-b-1,4-butadiene-b-ethylene oxide) (OBO) macromolecular triblock amphiphiles is examined to discern the implications of continuous polydispersity in the hydrophobic block on the resulting aqueous micellar morphologies of otherwise monodisperse polymer surfactants. The chain length polydispersity and implicit composition polydispersity of these samples furnishes a distribution of preferred interfacial curvatures, resulting in dilute aqueous block copolymer dispersions exhibiting coexisting spherical and rod-like micelles with vesicles in a single sample with a O weight fraction, w{sub O}, of 0.18. At higher w{sub O} = 0.51-0.68, the peak in the interfacial curvature distribution shifts and we observe the formation of only American football-shaped micelles. We rationalize the formation of these anisotropically shaped aggregates based on the intrinsic distribution of preferred curvatures adopted by the polydisperse copolymer amphiphiles and on the relief of core block chain stretching by chain-length-dependent intramicellar segregation.

  20. Coarse-grain molecular dynamics simulations of diblock copolymer surfactants interacting with a lipid bilayer

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Srinivas, Goundla; Klein, Michael L.

    2004-01-01

    The interaction of surfactant diblock poly(ethylene oxide)-poly(ethylethylene) copolymers (PEO-PEE) with a lipid bilayer of dimyristoylphosphatidylcholine has been studied by means of coarse-grain molecular dynamics simulations. The effect of the surfactants on the lipid bilayer was studied over a wide range of diblock copolymer concentrations. The simulations show that the hydrophilic PEO chains adopt different structures at low and high concentrations. In particular, the computed density profiles reveal that the PEO chains extend over a longer range from the bilayer surface, with increasing copolymer concentration. The simulated density profiles are in agreement with the scaling law predictions.

  1. Controlling Directed Self-Assembly and Sintering of Gold Nanorods in Patterned Block Copolymer Thin Films

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lai, Fengyuan

    As the miniaturization of electronic devices continues, proper thermal management is crucial to ensure the optimum performance and reliability of such devices within their specification. Of primary interest are the so-called thermal interface materials to minimize the thermal resistance between the heat source and the heat sink. To this end, polymer nanocomposites composed of a polymer matrix and nanoscale fillers with high thermal conductivity have attracted tremendous attention. It has been demonstrated that the formation of a nanoparticle assembly inside the polymer matrix provides a continuous pathway for efficient heat transfer, and thus it is essential for achieving high thermal conductivity. In this work, we explored the ability to direct the self-assembly of gold nanorods (AuNRs) via patterned block copolymer (BCP) thin films. Selective sequestration of AuNRs with various aspect ratios in one block domain was achieved, with over 30% of the surface covered by an ordered AuNR assembly orienting parallel to the geometric confinement. The final nanostructure resulting from the directed self-assembly process is determined by the competition between thermodynamic consideration and kinetic factors. The coalescence and sintering of the AuNR assembly was accomplished by both furnace thermal annealing and rapid thermal annealing at low temperatures. The mechanism through which efficient sintering occurred is investigated with scanning electron microscopy. It is found that the sintering process initially takes place locally, resulting in small AuNR aggregates. Eventually the aggregates grow into a globally continuous, percolating network structure. In addition, the overall heat transfer coefficient was measured in an environmental scanning electron microscope by following droplet growth over time. The present study opens up new opportunities to accomplish controlled assembly of nanoparticles with high concentration for different nanorod-based applications as well as

  2. How Do Spherical Diblock Copolymer Nanoparticles Grow during RAFT Alcoholic Dispersion Polymerization?

    PubMed Central

    2015-01-01

    A poly(2-(dimethylamino)ethyl methacrylate) (PDMA) chain transfer agent (CTA) is used for the reversible addition–fragmentation chain transfer (RAFT) alcoholic dispersion polymerization of benzyl methacrylate (BzMA) in ethanol at 70 °C. THF GPC analysis indicated a well-controlled polymerization with molecular weight increasing linearly with conversion. GPC traces also showed high blocking efficiency with no homopolymer contamination apparent and Mw/Mn values below 1.35 in all cases. 1H NMR studies confirmed greater than 98% BzMA conversion for a target PBzMA degree of polymerization (DP) of up to 600. The PBzMA block becomes insoluble as it grows, leading to the in situ formation of sterically stabilized diblock copolymer nanoparticles via polymerization-induced self-assembly (PISA). Fixing the mean DP of the PDMA stabilizer block at 94 units and systematically varying the DP of the PBzMA block enabled a series of spherical nanoparticles of tunable diameter to be obtained. These nanoparticles were characterized by TEM, DLS, MALLS, and SAXS, with mean diameters ranging from 35 to 100 nm. The latter technique was particularly informative: data fits to a spherical micelle model enabled calculation of the core diameter, surface area occupied per copolymer chain, and the mean aggregation number (Nagg). The scaling exponent derived from a double-logarithmic plot of core diameter vs PBzMA DP suggests that the conformation of the PBzMA chains is intermediate between the collapsed and fully extended state. This is in good agreement with 1H NMR studies, which suggest that only 5−13% of the BzMA residues of the core-forming chains are solvated. The Nagg values calculated from SAXS and MALLS are in good agreement and scale approximately linearly with PBzMA DP. This suggests that spherical micelles grow in size not only as a result of the increase in copolymer molecular weight during the PISA synthesis but also by exchange of individual copolymer chains between micelles

  3. Hierarchical nanostructures self-assembled from a mixture system containing rod-coil block copolymers and rigid homopolymers.

    PubMed

    Li, Yongliang; Jiang, Tao; Lin, Shaoliang; Lin, Jiaping; Cai, Chunhua; Zhu, Xingyu

    2015-01-01

    Self-assembly behavior of a mixture system containing rod-coil block copolymers and rigid homopolymers was investigated by using Brownian dynamics simulations. The morphologies of formed hierarchical self-assemblies were found to be dependent on the Lennard-Jones (LJ) interaction εRR between rod blocks, lengths of rod and coil blocks in copolymer, and mixture ratio of block copolymers to homopolymers. As the εRR value decreases, the self-assembled structures of mixtures are transformed from an abacus-like structure to a helical structure, to a plain fiber, and finally are broken into unimers. The order parameter of rod blocks was calculated to confirm the structure transition. Through varying the length of rod and coil blocks, the regions of thermodynamic stability of abacus, helix, plain fiber, and unimers were mapped. Moreover, it was discovered that two levels of rod block ordering exist in the helices. The block copolymers are helically wrapped on the homopolymer bundles to form helical string, while the rod blocks are twistingly packed inside the string. In addition, the simulation results are in good agreement with experimental observations. The present work reveals the mechanism behind the formation of helical (experimentally super-helical) structures and may provide useful information for design and preparation of the complex structures. PMID:25965726

  4. Hierarchical Nanostructures Self-Assembled from a Mixture System Containing Rod-Coil Block Copolymers and Rigid Homopolymers

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Li, Yongliang; Jiang, Tao; Lin, Shaoliang; Lin, Jiaping; Cai, Chunhua; Zhu, Xingyu

    2015-05-01

    Self-assembly behavior of a mixture system containing rod-coil block copolymers and rigid homopolymers was investigated by using Brownian dynamics simulations. The morphologies of formed hierarchical self-assemblies were found to be dependent on the Lennard-Jones (LJ) interaction ɛRR between rod blocks, lengths of rod and coil blocks in copolymer, and mixture ratio of block copolymers to homopolymers. As the ɛRR value decreases, the self-assembled structures of mixtures are transformed from an abacus-like structure to a helical structure, to a plain fiber, and finally are broken into unimers. The order parameter of rod blocks was calculated to confirm the structure transition. Through varying the length of rod and coil blocks, the regions of thermodynamic stability of abacus, helix, plain fiber, and unimers were mapped. Moreover, it was discovered that two levels of rod block ordering exist in the helices. The block copolymers are helically wrapped on the homopolymer bundles to form helical string, while the rod blocks are twistingly packed inside the string. In addition, the simulation results are in good agreement with experimental observations. The present work reveals the mechanism behind the formation of helical (experimentally super-helical) structures and may provide useful information for design and preparation of the complex structures.

  5. Hierarchical Nanostructures Self-Assembled from a Mixture System Containing Rod-Coil Block Copolymers and Rigid Homopolymers

    PubMed Central

    Li, Yongliang; Jiang, Tao; Lin, Shaoliang; Lin, Jiaping; Cai, Chunhua; Zhu, Xingyu

    2015-01-01

    Self-assembly behavior of a mixture system containing rod-coil block copolymers and rigid homopolymers was investigated by using Brownian dynamics simulations. The morphologies of formed hierarchical self-assemblies were found to be dependent on the Lennard-Jones (LJ) interaction εRR between rod blocks, lengths of rod and coil blocks in copolymer, and mixture ratio of block copolymers to homopolymers. As the εRR value decreases, the self-assembled structures of mixtures are transformed from an abacus-like structure to a helical structure, to a plain fiber, and finally are broken into unimers. The order parameter of rod blocks was calculated to confirm the structure transition. Through varying the length of rod and coil blocks, the regions of thermodynamic stability of abacus, helix, plain fiber, and unimers were mapped. Moreover, it was discovered that two levels of rod block ordering exist in the helices. The block copolymers are helically wrapped on the homopolymer bundles to form helical string, while the rod blocks are twistingly packed inside the string. In addition, the simulation results are in good agreement with experimental observations. The present work reveals the mechanism behind the formation of helical (experimentally super-helical) structures and may provide useful information for design and preparation of the complex structures. PMID:25965726

  6. Phase Behavior and Ionic Conductivity of Concentrated Solutions of Polystyrene-Poly(ethylene oxide) Diblock Copolymers in an Ionic Liquid

    SciTech Connect

    Simone, Peter M.; Lodge, Timothy P.

    2010-03-16

    Concentrated solutions of poly(styrene-b-ethylene oxide) (PS-PEO) diblock copolymers were prepared using the ionic liquid 1-ethyl-3-methylimidazolium bis(trifluoromethylsulfonyl)imide [EMI][TFSI] as the solvent. The self-assembled microstructures adopted by the copolymer solutions have been characterized using small-angle X-ray scattering. Lyotropic mesophase transitions were observed, with a progression from hexagonally packed cylinders of PEO, to lamellae, to hexagonally packed cylinders of PS upon increasing [EMI][TFSI] content. The change in lamellar domain spacing with ionic liquid concentration was found to be comparable to that reported for other block copolymers in strongly selective solvents. The ionic conductivity of the concentrated PS-PEO/[EMI][TFSI] solutions was measured via impedance spectroscopy, and ranged from 1 x 10{sup -7} to 1 x 10{sup -3} S/cm at temperatures from 25-100 C. Additionally, the ionic conductivity of the solutions was found to increase with both ionic liquid concentration and molecular weight of the PEO blocks. The ionic conductivity of PEO homopolymer/[EMI][TFSI] solutions was also measured in order to compare the conductivity of the PS-PEO solutions to the expected limit for a lamellar sample with randomly oriented microstructure grains.

  7. Orientations of Diblock Copolymer Microdomains at Different Film Thicknesses

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Chaikin, Paul; Park, Miri; Harrison, Christopher; Register, Richard; Adamson, Doug

    1996-03-01

    We prepared films with a range of thicknesses (50-300 nm) of a styrene-butadiene diblock copolymer, synthesized to produce a cylindrical morphology. Solutions of different polymer concentrations in toluene were spun onto carbon-coated glass slides. The films were then placed onto a Transmission Electron Microscope (TEM) grid by water lift-off, annealed, stained with osmium tetraoxide, and examined with a TEM. Over a wide range of film thicknesses, the cylinders lie parallel to the substrate. We present preliminary results that show a cylinder orientation perpendicular to the substrate at a thickness of many microdomain spacings. We speculate that the alignment mechanism is different from that found in a previous study of Kraton D1102(M. A. van Dijk and R. van den Berg, Macromolecules 28), 6773 (1995) which shows a perpendicular orientation with spin-coated films, but for a film thickness between one and two microdomain spacings. This work was supported by the NSF under DMR 9400362.

  8. Molecular Simulation of Bicontinuous Phases in Diblock Copolymer Melts

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Martinez-Veracoechea, Francisco; Escobedo, Fernando

    2008-03-01

    Molecular simulations are used to study the stabilization of different bicontinuous phases in diblock copolymer (DBC) melts. The stabilization approach entails attempting to reduce the packing frustration inside the bicontinuous phases nodes by the addition of a ``filler'' with affinity for the A component. Two different strategies are considered: 1) addition of selective-solvent particles, and 2) addition of homopolymer. Approximate phase boundaries were found via free-energy calculations. A very dissimilar phase behavior is observed upon increasing the amount of the ``additive'' in the two different strategies. While with the first strategy (i.e., addition of selective solvent) we observed the progression Gyroid (G) -> Perforated Lamella -> Lamella -> Reversed-Gyroid. With the second strategy (i.e., addition of homopolymer) we observed the progression of morphologies G -> Cylinder -> Double Diamond (DD) -> Plumber's Nightmare (P). In both the DD and the P phases, the homopolymer concentrates preferentially in the nodes, suggesting the reduction of the nodes' packing frustration. In addition, a novel morphology was observed, wherein cylinders of two different diameters alternate in a tetragonal packing. The contrasting difference in the phase behavior observed for the two strategies is understood as a consequence of the difference in mixing entropy exhibited by the two additives.

  9. Dodecagonal Quasicrystal Phase in a Diblock Copolymer Melt

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bates, Frank; Gillard, Timothy; Lee, Sangwoo

    Recent experiments with low molecular weight asymmetric poly(isoprene- b-lactide) (PI-PLA) diblock copolymers have established an equilibrium Frank-Kasper σ-phase at compositions between 18 and 22 percent by volume PLA, which transforms to a BCC phase followed by disordering with increasing temperature. This presentation will describe synchrotron small-angle x-ray scattering and dynamic mechanical spectroscopy experiments conducted following rapid temperature quenches from the disordered state to temperatures associated with the σ-phase. We document the development of a long-lived dodecagonal quasicrystalline (DQC) phase that transforms with time into the associated quasicrystal approximate σ-phase at a rate that is highly temperature dependent. Remarkably, the DQC does not form from either the σ-phase or BCC state. These finding will be discussed in the context of an apparent spontaneous structural transition that occurs when the disordered melt is supercooled below a threshold temperature coincident with the BCC to σ-phase order-order transition temperature. Support provided by the National Science Foundation (1104368).

  10. Phase Behavior and Kinetics of Diblock Copolymer in Selective Solvent

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Spring, Julian; Bansil, Rama

    2012-02-01

    Synchrotron based time-resolved small angle x-ray scattering (SAXS) was used to study the kinetics of the formation of a gyroid phase in solutions of a poly (styrene -isoprene) (SI) diblock copolymer in dimethyl phthalate, a selective solvent for the polystyrene block. Temperature ramp measurements over the range of 70-130C show the transition from hexagonally-packed cylinders (HEX) to Gyroid phase for 75% and 80% (w/v) samples to be 117C and 96C, respectively. Results of temperature jump experiments to different jump depths to examine the kinetics of this transition will be presented. In addition to the Bragg scattering from the ordered phases, we were able to observe the temperature dependence of the diffuse scattering near q=0. The temperature dependence of the correlation length shows a crossover from T near the glass transition for polystyrene to linear in T near the HEX to Gyroid transition. The effect of adding low molecular weight linear homopolymer PS to the samples on the phase behavior will be discussed.

  11. Solubilisation of drugs in micellar solutions of diblock copolymers of ethylene oxide and styrene oxide.

    PubMed

    Crothers, Michael; Ricardo, Nagíla M P S; Heatley, Frank; Nixon, S Keith; Attwood, David; Booth, Colin

    2008-06-24

    The solubilisation of two poorly soluble drugs, furosemide and nabumetone, in micellar solutions of diblock copolymers of ethylene oxide and styrene oxide has been studied at 25 and 37 degrees C and solubilisation capacities compared with published values for griseofulvin and docetaxel. Solubilisation in the micelle core, corrected for the different proportions of poly(styrene oxide) in the copolymers, was similar for all four drugs. The highest solubilisation capacities were found for a copolymer with worm-like micelles. PMID:18417305

  12. Directed self-assembly of block copolymers: a tutorial review of strategies for enabling nanotechnology with soft matter.

    PubMed

    Hu, Hanqiong; Gopinadhan, Manesh; Osuji, Chinedum O

    2014-06-14

    Self-assembly of soft materials is broadly considered an attractive means of generating nanoscale structures and patterns over large areas. However, the spontaneous formation of equilibrium nanostructures in response to temperature and concentration changes, for example, must be guided to yield the long-range order and orientation required for utility in a given scenario. In this review we examine directed self-assembly (DSA) of block copolymers (BCPs) as canonical examples of nanostructured soft matter systems which are additionally compelling for creating functional materials and devices. We survey well established and newly emerging DSA methods from a tutorial perspective. Special emphasis is given to exploring underlying physical phenomena, identifying prototypical BCPs that are compatible with different DSA techniques, describing experimental methods and highlighting the attractive functional properties of block copolymers overall. Finally we offer a brief perspective on some unresolved issues and future opportunities in this field. PMID:24740355

  13. Solvent-induced size reduction of self-assembled siRNA/copolymer nanoparticles

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Qu, Wei; Wu, Juan; Mao, Hai-Quan; Luijten, Erik

    2013-03-01

    Small interfering RNA (siRNA) therapeutics has a demonstrated potential for treating numerous liver diseases. However, traditional polycation vectors used for siRNA delivery typically produce siRNA-containing particles of large size (> 100 nm), along with high cytotoxicity and low colloidal stability. Inspired by earlier work on nanoparticles for plasmid DNA delivery, we graft hydrophilic and biocompatible polyethylene glycol (PEG) blocks to the polycation vector to overcome these limitations. We find that the PEG-grafted polycations result in slightly larger particle size, even though the hydrophilic PEG blocks are expected to hinder the formation of larger aggregates. To explain this observation, we investigate siRNA/copolymer self-assembly via computer simulations of coarse-grained polymer and siRNA models. Our calculations suggest that hydrogen bonding between PEG and the polycation leads to the increased particle size, and that smaller particles can be obtained by inhibiting hydrogen bonding in such system. Subsequent experiments employing solvents of lower polarity indeed lead to particles with smaller size.

  14. Aggregation and self-assembly of amphiphilic block copolymers in aqueous dispersions of carbon nanotubes.

    PubMed

    Shvartzman-Cohen, Rina; Florent, Marc; Goldfarb, Daniella; Szleifer, Igal; Yerushalmi-Rozen, Rachel

    2008-05-01

    The self-assembly (SA) of amphiphilic block copolymers (poly(ethylene oxide)-poly(propylene oxide)-poly(ethylene oxide)) was investigated in dispersions of single-walled and multiwalled carbon nanotubes (SWNT and MWNT, respectively) as a function of temperature. Differential scanning calorimetry (DSC) was used for characterization of the thermal behavior of the combined polymers-nanostructures system, and spin-probe electron paramagnetic resonance (EPR) was employed for probing the local dynamic and polarity of the polymer chains in the presence of nanostructures. It was found that SWNT and MWNT modify the temperature, enthalpy, and dynamic behavior of polymer SA. In particular, SWNT were found to increase the cooperativity of aggregating chains and dominate aggregate dynamics. MWNT reduced the cooperativity, while colloidal carbon black additives, studied for comparison, did not show similar effects. The experimental observations are consistent with the suggestion that dimensional matching between the characteristic radius of the solvated polymer chains and the dimensions of additives dominate polymer SA in the hybrid system. PMID:18355098

  15. Thermally Tunable Metallodielectric Photonic Crystals from Self-assembly of Brush Block Copolymers and Gold Nanoparticles

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Song, Dongpo; Li, Cheng; Colella, Nicholas; Lu, Xuemin; Watkins, James

    2015-03-01

    Photonic crystals (PCs) based on the self-assembly of block copolymers (BCPs) are under intense investigations, providing new opportunities for simple fabrication of flexible photonic devices or coatings in an inexpensive and scalable way. The precise control and selective incorporation of inorganic nanoparticles (NPs) into specific domains of the microphase separated BCPs can be used to tune the optical constant of the target domains and create hybrid materials with unique optical properties. In this work, we demonstrate a simple strategy for rapid fabrication of well-ordered metallodielectric 1-D PCs using PS- b-PEO brush BCPs as the templates and H-bonding as the driving force for selective incorporation of phenol-coated gold nanoparticles (NPs) into PEO domains. By varying gold NP loading or molecular weight of the brush BCP, periodic layered metallodielectric structures with the domain spacing controlled from 120 nm to 261 nm were readily created resulting in reflection of light widely tunable from the visible to near IR regions (458-1010 nm). The control over size as well as the distribution of the gold NPs in the well-ordered structure was realized through simple thermal treatment, showing significant effects on the optical properties. This work was supported by the NSF Center for Hierarchical Manufacturing at the University of Massachusetts (CMMI-1025020).

  16. Biomimetic Nanocomposites of Calcium Phosphate and Self-Assembling Triblock and Pentablock Copolymers

    SciTech Connect

    Drew Lenzen Enlow

    2006-08-09

    In an effort to mimic the growth of natural bone, self-assembling, micelle and gel-forming copolymers were used as a template for calcium phosphate precipitation. Because of the cationic characteristics imparted by PDEAEM end group additions to commercially available Pluronic{reg_sign} Fl27, a direct ionic attraction mechanism was utilized and a polymer-brushite nanocomposite spheres were produced. Brushite coated spherical micelles with diameters of {approx}40 nm, and agglomerates of these particles (on the order of 0.5 {mu}m) were obtained. Thickness and durability of the calcium phosphate coating, and the extent of agglomeration were studied. The coating has been shown to be robust enough to retain its integrity even below polymer critical micelle concentration and/or temperature. Calcium phosphate-polymer gel nanocomposites were also prepared. Gel samples appeared as a single phase network of agglomerated spherical micelles, and had a final calcium phosphate concentration of up to 15 wt%. Analysis with x-ray diffraction and NMR indicated a disordered brushite phase with the phosphate groups linking inorganic phase to the polymer.

  17. Role of defects on self-assembly of nanoparticles in block copolymer thin film

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kim, Jenny; Green, Peter

    2011-03-01

    The structure of A-b-B block copolymer (BCP) thin films is often exploited as scaffolds for directing nanoparticles into various, long-range ordered geometries. Depending on the affinity between nanoparticles and block chains, nanoparticles preferentially segregate to either A or B domains. We show that dislocations may play a dominant role in the assembly of large nanoparticles in BCP thin film that order at suboptimal thicknesses. Edge dislocations are ubiquitous in lamellar BCP thin films forming a partial surface layer, i.e. holes or island structures. When the ratio of the nanoparticle diameter, d, to the domain dimension, L, d/L 0.15, the nanoparticles were distributed uniformly throughout the film. However for larger values of d/L, the nanoparticles reside primarily at the dislocation cores. In the case of films of initial film thicknesses between L h < 3L the nanoparticles self-assemble into 2-dimensional planar shapes at the boundaries of holes or islands where edge dislocations are located.

  18. On the self-assembly of brush block copolymers in thin films.

    PubMed

    Hong, Sung Woo; Gu, Weiyin; Huh, June; Sveinbjornsson, Benjamin R; Jeong, Gajin; Grubbs, Robert Howard; Russell, Thomas P

    2013-11-26

    We describe a simple route to fabricate two dimensionally well-ordered, periodic nanopatterns using the self-assembly of brush block copolymers (brush BCPs). Well-developed lamellar microdomains oriented perpendicular to the substrate are achieved, without modification of the underlying substrates, and structures with feature sizes greater than 200 nm are generated due to the reduced degree of chain entanglements of brush BCPs. A near-perfect linear scaling law was found for the period, L, as a function of backbone degree of polymerization (DP) for two series of brush BCPs. The exponent increases slightly from 0.99 to 1.03 as the side chain molecular weight increases from ∼2.4 to ∼4.5 kg/mol(-1) and saturated with further increase in the side chain molecular weight due to the entropic penalty associated with the packing of the side chains. Porous templates and scaffolds from brush BCP thin films are also obtained by selective etching of one component. PMID:24156297

  19. Tuning the strength of chemical patterns for directed self-assembly of block copolymers

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Williamson, Lance; Lin, Guanyang; Cao, Yi; Gronheid, Roel; Nealey, Paul

    2014-03-01

    Directed self-assembly (DSA) of block copolymers (BCP) via chemo-epitaxy is a potential lithographic solution to patterns of dense features. The LiNe (Liu-Nealey) flow was used to fabricate the chemical pattern, which guides the BCP due to the different wetting behavior of the materials. Fine control of both the chemical pattern chemistry and geometry are important for DSA of BCP. Furthermore, wetting behavior considerations for DSA extend beyond pattern design and include the surrounding region. BCP DSA would be easier to integrate into device design if the patterned region were isolated with a featureless region (horizontal lamellar BCP assembly) rather than undirected BCP fingerprint structures. This paper addresses two processing steps found to be modifying the guide material. For one, the backfill brush grafts to the cross-linked polystyrene (XPS), albeit at a lower rate than the brush grafts to the exposed substrate. Undersaturating the backfill brush only moderately improves the XPS wetting behavior, but also negatively impacts the background region of the chemical pattern. Replacing the brush grafting functionality so that the brush grafts at lower annealing conditions also did not avoid the side reaction between the brush and the XPS. The other step modifying the XPS is the trim etch. Replacing the trim etch process was effective at generating a chemical pattern that can orient the BCP horizontally on a stripe 11 L0 wide passing through a field of chemical pattern.

  20. Resistive switching in high-density nanodevices fabricated by block copolymer self-assembly.

    PubMed

    Frascaroli, Jacopo; Brivio, Stefano; Ferrarese Lupi, Federico; Seguini, Gabriele; Boarino, Luca; Perego, Michele; Spiga, Sabina

    2015-03-24

    Bipolar resistive switching memories based on metal oxides offer a great potential in terms of simple process integration, memory performance, and scalability. In view of ultrahigh density memory applications, a reduced device size is not the only requirement, as the distance between different devices is a key parameter. By exploiting a bottom-up fabrication approach based on block copolymer self-assembling, we obtained the parallel production of bilayer Pt/Ti top electrodes arranged in periodic arrays over the HfO2/TiN surface, building memory devices with a diameter of 28 nm and a density of 5 × 10(10) devices/cm(2). For an electrical characterization, the sharp conducting tip of an atomic force microscope was adopted for a selective addressing of the nanodevices. The presence of devices showing high conductance in the initial state was directly connected with scattered leakage current paths in the bare oxide film, while with bipolar voltage operations we obtained reversible set/reset transitions irrespective of the conductance variability in the initial state. Finally, we disclosed a scalability limit for ultrahigh density memory arrays based on continuous HfO2 thin films, in which a cross-talk between distinct nanodevices can occur during both set and reset transitions. PMID:25743480

  1. Peptide-directed self-assembly of functionalized polymeric nanoparticles part I: design and self-assembly of peptide-copolymer conjugates into nanoparticle fibers and 3D scaffolds.

    PubMed

    Ding, Xiaochu; Janjanam, Jagadeesh; Tiwari, Ashutosh; Thompson, Martin; Heiden, Patricia A

    2014-06-01

    A robust self-assembly of nanoparticles into fibers and 3D scaffolds is designed and fabricated by functionalizing a RAFT-polymerized amphiphilic triblock copolymer with designer ionic complementary peptides so that the assembled core-shell polymeric nanoparticles are directed by peptide assembly into continuous "nanoparticle fibers," ultimately leading to 3D fiber scaffolds. The assembled nanostructure is confirmed by FESEM and optical microscopy. The assembly is not hindered when a protein (insulin) is incorporated within the nanoparticles as an active ingredient. MTS cytotoxicity tests on SW-620 cell lines show that the peptides, copolymers, and peptide-copolymer conjugates are biocompatible. The methodology of self-assembled nanoparticle fibers and 3D scaffolds is intended to combine the advantages of a flexible hydrogel scaffold with the versatility of controlled release nanoparticles to offer unprecedented ability to incorporate desired drug(s) within a self-assembled scaffold system with individual control over the release of each drug. PMID:24610743

  2. Simulation of free energies of bicontinuous morphologies formed through block copolymer/homopolymer self-assembly

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Padmanabhan, Poornima; Martinez-Veracoechea, Francisco; Escobedo, Fernando

    Different types of bicontinuous phases can be formed from A-B diblock copolymers by the addition of A-type homopolymers over a range of compositions and relative chain lengths. Particle-based molecular simulations were used to study three bicontinuous phases - double gyroid (G), double diamond (D) and plumber's nightmare (P) - near their triple point of coexistence. For 3-D ordered phases, the stability of the morphology formed in simulation is highly sensitive to box size whose exact size is unknown a-priori. Accurate free energy estimates are required to ascertain the stable phase, particularly when multiple competing phases spontaneously form at the conditions of interest. A variant of thermodynamic integration was implemented to obtain free energies and hence identify the stable phases and their optimal box sizes by tracing a reversible path that connects the ordered and disordered phases. Clear evidence was found of D-G and D-P phase coexistence, consistent with previous predictions for the same blend using Self-consistent field theory. Our simulations also allowed us to examine the microscopic details of these coexisting bicontinuous phases and detect key differences between the microstructure of their nodes and struts.

  3. Microphase separation in thin films of lamellar forming polydisperse di-block copolymers

    SciTech Connect

    Kumar, Rajeev; Lokitz, Bradley S.; Sides, Scott W.; Chen, Jihua; Heller, William T.; Ankner, John F.; Browning, James F.; Kilbey, II, S. Michael; Sumpter, Bobby G.

    2015-02-03

    Despite the ubiquity of polydispersity in chain lengths of di-block copolymers, its effects on microphase separation in thin films have eluded a clear understanding. In this paper, we have studied effects of polydispersity on the microphase separation in thin films of lamellar forming di-block copolymers using self-consistent field theory (SCFT) and neutron reflectivity experiments. Di-block copolymers containing a polydisperse block of poly(glycidylmethacrylate) (PGMA) connected to a near-monodisperse block poly(2-vinyl-4,4-dimethyl-d6 azlactone) (PVDMA-d6) are considered in this work. Effects of chain length polydispersity, film thickness, substrate–monomer and monomer–monomer interactions on the microphase segregation are studied using SCFT. The theoretical study reveals that in comparison to a film created with monodisperse di-block copolymers, an increase in polydispersity tends to decrease the number of lamellar strata that can be packed in a film of given thickness. This is a direct consequence of an increase in lamellar domain spacing with an increase in polydispersity index. Furthermore, it is shown that polydispersity induces conformational asymmetry and an increase in the polydispersity index leads to an increase in the effective Kuhn segment length of the polydisperse blocks. It is shown that the conformational asymmetry effects, which are entropic in origin and of increasing importance as film thickness decreases, drive the polydisperse blocks to the middle of the films despite favorable substrate interactions. These predictions are verified by results from neutron reflectivity experiments on thin films made from moderately polydisperse PGMA-PVDMA-d6 di-block copolymer deposited on silicon substrates. In conclusion, results from SCFT are used to predict neutron reflectivity profiles, providing a facile and robust route to obtain useful physical insights into the structure of polydisperse diblock copolymers at

  4. Microphase separation in thin films of lamellar forming polydisperse di-block copolymers

    DOE PAGESBeta

    Kumar, Rajeev; Lokitz, Bradley S.; Sides, Scott W.; Chen, Jihua; Heller, William T.; Ankner, John F.; Browning, James F.; Kilbey, II, S. Michael; Sumpter, Bobby G.

    2015-02-03

    Despite the ubiquity of polydispersity in chain lengths of di-block copolymers, its effects on microphase separation in thin films have eluded a clear understanding. In this paper, we have studied effects of polydispersity on the microphase separation in thin films of lamellar forming di-block copolymers using self-consistent field theory (SCFT) and neutron reflectivity experiments. Di-block copolymers containing a polydisperse block of poly(glycidylmethacrylate) (PGMA) connected to a near-monodisperse block poly(2-vinyl-4,4-dimethyl-d6 azlactone) (PVDMA-d6) are considered in this work. Effects of chain length polydispersity, film thickness, substrate–monomer and monomer–monomer interactions on the microphase segregation are studied using SCFT. The theoretical study reveals thatmore » in comparison to a film created with monodisperse di-block copolymers, an increase in polydispersity tends to decrease the number of lamellar strata that can be packed in a film of given thickness. This is a direct consequence of an increase in lamellar domain spacing with an increase in polydispersity index. Furthermore, it is shown that polydispersity induces conformational asymmetry and an increase in the polydispersity index leads to an increase in the effective Kuhn segment length of the polydisperse blocks. It is shown that the conformational asymmetry effects, which are entropic in origin and of increasing importance as film thickness decreases, drive the polydisperse blocks to the middle of the films despite favorable substrate interactions. These predictions are verified by results from neutron reflectivity experiments on thin films made from moderately polydisperse PGMA-PVDMA-d6 di-block copolymer deposited on silicon substrates. In conclusion, results from SCFT are used to predict neutron reflectivity profiles, providing a facile and robust route to obtain useful physical insights into the structure of polydisperse diblock copolymers at interfaces.« less

  5. Self assembly and shear induced morphologies of asymmetric block copolymers with spherical domains

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mandare, Prashant N.

    2007-12-01

    Microphase separated block copolymers have been subject of investigation for past two decades. While most of the work is focused on classical phases of lamellae or cylinders, spherical phases have received less attention. The present study deals with the self-assembly in spherical phases of block copolymers that results into formation of a three-dimensional cubic lattice. A model triblock copolymer with several transition temperatures is chosen. Solidification in this model system results from either the arrangement of nanospheres of minor block on a BCC lattice or by formation of physical network where the nanospheres act as crosslinks. The solid-like behavior is characterized by extremely slow relaxation modes. Long time stress relaxation of the model material was examined to distinguish between the solid and liquid behavior. Stress relaxation data from a conventional rheometer was extended to very long times by using a newly built instrument, Relaxometer. The BCC lattice structure of the material behaves as liquid over long time except at low temperatures where an equilibrium modulus is observed. This long time behavior was extended to low shear rate behavior using steady shear rheology. The zero shear viscosity observed at extremely low shear rates has a very high value that is close to the viscosity calculated from stress relaxation experiments. The steady shear viscosity decreases by several orders of magnitude over a small range of shear rates. SAXS experiments on samples sheared even at very low rates indicated loss of the BCC order that was present in the annealed samples before shearing. In the second part, response of the BCC microstructure to large stress was explored. Shearing at constant rate and with LAOS at low frequencies lead to destruction of BCC lattice. The structure recovers upon cessation of the shear with kinetics similar to the one following thermal quench. Under certain conditions, LAOS leads to formation of monodomain textures. At low

  6. “Smart” Diblock Copolymers as Templates for Magnetic-Core Gold-Shell Nanoparticle Synthesis

    SciTech Connect

    Nash, Michael A.; Lai, James J.; Hoffman, Allan S.; Yager, Paul; Stayton, Partick S.

    2010-01-13

    We report a new strategy for synthesizing temperature-responsive γ-Fe2O3-core/Au-shell nanoparticles (Au-mNPs) from diblock copolymer micelles. The amphiphilic diblock copolymer chains were synthesized using reversible addition-fragmentation chain-transfer (RAFT) with a thermally responsive “smart” poly(N-isopropylacrylamide) (pNIPAAm) block and an amine-containing poly(N,N-dimethylaminoethylacrylamide) (DMAEAm) block that acted as a reducing agent during gold shell formation. The Au-mNPs reversibly aggregated upon heating the solution above the transition temperature of pNIPAAm, resulting in a red-shifted localized surface plasmon resonance.

  7. Self-assembled Oniontype Multiferroic Nanostructures

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ren, Shenqiang; Briber, Robert M.; Wuttig, Manfred

    2009-03-01

    Spontaneously self-assembled oniontype multiferroic nanostructures based on block copolymers as templating materials are reported. Diblock copolymer containing two different magnetoelectric precursors separately segregated to the two microdomains have been shown to form well-ordered templated lamellar structures. Onion-type multilamellar ordered multiferroic (PZT/CoFe2O4) nanostructures have been induced by room temperature solvent annealing in a magnetic field oriented perpendicular to the plane of the film. The evolution of the onion-like microstructure has been characterized by AFM, MFM, and TEM. The structure retains lamellar periodicity observed at zero field. The onion structure is superparamagnetic above and antiferromagnetic below the blocking temperature. This templating process opens a route for nanometer-scale patterning of magnetic toroids by means of self-assembly on length scales that are difficult to obtain by standard lithography techniques.

  8. Dodecagonal quasicrystalline order in a diblock copolymer melt.

    PubMed

    Gillard, Timothy M; Lee, Sangwoo; Bates, Frank S

    2016-05-10

    We report the discovery of a dodecagonal quasicrystalline state (DDQC) in a sphere (micelle) forming poly(isoprene-b-lactide) (IL) diblock copolymer melt, investigated as a function of time following rapid cooling from above the order-disorder transition temperature (TODT = 66 °C) using small-angle X-ray scattering (SAXS) measurements. Between TODT and the order-order transition temperature TOOT = 42 °C, an equilibrium body-centered cubic (BCC) structure forms, whereas below TOOT the Frank-Kasper σ phase is the stable morphology. At T < 40 °C the supercooled disordered state evolves into a metastable DDQC that transforms with time to the σ phase. The times required to form the DDQC and σ phases are strongly temperature dependent, requiring several hours and about 2 d at 35 °C and more than 10 and 200 d at 25 °C, respectively. Remarkably, the DDQC forms only from the supercooled disordered state, whereas the σ phase grows directly when the BCC phase is cooled below TOOT and vice versa upon heating. A transition in the rapidly supercooled disordered material, from an ergodic liquid-like arrangement of particles to a nonergodic soft glassy-like solid, occurs below ∼40 °C, coincident with the temperature associated with the formation of the DDQC. We speculate that this stiffening reflects the development of particle clusters with local tetrahedral or icosahedral symmetry that seed growth of the temporally transient DDQC state. This work highlights extraordinary opportunities to uncover the origins and stability of aperiodic order in condensed matter using model block polymers. PMID:27118844

  9. Synthesis of Polystyrene-Polylactide Bottlebrush Block Copolymers and Their Melt Self-Assembly into Large Domain Nanostructures

    SciTech Connect

    Rzayev, J.

    2009-04-07

    High molecular weight polystyrene-polylactide (PS-PLA) bottlebrush block copolymers have been shown to self-assemble into highly ordered lamellae structures with domain spacings as large as 163 nm, as identified by ultrasmall-angle X-ray scattering. Bottlebrush block copolymers were synthesized by a combination of living radical and ring-opening polymerizations. The backbone was prepared by RAFT block copolymerization of solketal methacrylate (SM) and 2-(bromoisobutyryl)ethyl methacrylate (BIEM). Polystyrene branches were grafted by ATRP from poly(BIEM) block, and PLA branches were grafted from the poly(SM) block after the removal of ketal groups. The investigation into the self-assembly of PS-PLA bottlebrush block copolymers with varying lengths of branches and backbones revealed a number of unusual trends, which were attributed to their dynamic, three-dimensional structure. The results suggest that in phase-separated melts the bottlebrush block copolymer backbone, while extended, still possesses a certain degree of flexibility to accommodate for different interfacial areas necessary to pack into lamellae microstructures.

  10. Toughening of epoxies based on self-assembly of nano-sized amphiphilic block copolymer micelles

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Liu, Jia

    As a part of a larger effort towards the fundamental understanding of mechanical behaviors of polymers toughened by nanoparticles, this dissertation focuses on the structure-property relationship of epoxies modified with nano-sized poly(ethylene-alt-propylene)-b-poly(ethylene oxide) (PEP-PEO) block copolymer (BCP) micelle particles. The amphiphilic BCP toughener was incorporated into a liquid epoxy resin and self-assembled into well-dispersed 15 nm spherical micelle particles. The nano-sized BCP, at 5 wt% loading, can significantly improve the fracture toughness of epoxy (ca. 180% improvement) without reducing modulus at room temperature and exhibits only a slight drop (ca. 5°C) in glass transition temperature (Tg). The toughening mechanisms were found to be BCP micelle nanoparticle cavitation, followed by matrix shear banding, which mainly accounted for the observed remarkable toughening effect. The unexpected "nano-cavitation" phenomenon cannot be predicted by existing physical models. The plausible causes for the observed nano-scale cavitation and other mechanical behaviors may include the unique structural characteristics of BCP micelles and the influence from the surrounding epoxy network, which is significantly modified by the epoxy-miscible PEO block. Other mechanisms, such as crack tip blunting, may also play a role in the toughening. Structure-property relationships of this nano-domain modified polymer are discussed. In addition, other important factors, such as strain rate dependence and matrix crosslink density effect on toughening, have been investigated. This BCP toughening approach and conventional rubber toughening techniques are compared. Insights on the decoupling of modulus, toughness, and Tg for designing high performance thermosetting materials with desirable physical and mechanical properties are discussed.

  11. Role of block copolymer adsorption versus bimodal grafting on nanoparticle self-assembly in polymer nanocomposites.

    PubMed

    Zhao, Dan; Di Nicola, Matteo; Khani, Mohammad M; Jestin, Jacques; Benicewicz, Brian C; Kumar, Sanat K

    2016-09-14

    We compare the self-assembly of silica nanoparticles (NPs) with physically adsorbed polystyrene-block-poly(2-vinylpyridine) (PS-b-P2VP) copolymers (BCP) against NPs with grafted bimodal (BM) brushes comprised of long, sparsely grafted PS chains and a short dense carpet of P2VP chains. As with grafted NPs, the dispersion state of the BCP NPs can be facilely tuned in PS matrices by varying the PS coverage on the NP surface or by changes in the ratio of the PS graft to matrix chain lengths. Surprisingly, the BCP NPs are remarkably better dispersed than the NPs tethered with bimodal brushes at comparable PS grafting densities. We postulate that this difference arises because of two factors inherent in the synthesis of the NPs: In the case of the BCP NPs the adsorption process is analogous to the chains being "grafted to" the NP surface, while the BM case corresponds to "grafting from" the surface. We have shown that the "grafted from" protocol yields patchy NPs even if the graft points are uniformly placed on each particle. This phenomenon, which is caused by chain conformation fluctuations, is exacerbated by the distribution function associated with the (small) number of grafts per particle. In contrast, in the case of BCP adsorption, each NP is more uniformly coated by a P2VP monolayer driven by the strongly favorable P2VP-silica interactions. Since each P2VP block is connected to a PS chain we conjecture that these adsorbed systems are closer to the limit of spatially uniform sparse brush coverage than the chemically grafted case. We finally show that the better NP dispersion resulting from BCP adsorption leads to larger mechanical reinforcement than those achieved with BM particles. These results emphasize that physical adsorption of BCPs is a simple, effective and practically promising strategy to direct NP dispersion in a chemically unfavorable polymer matrix. PMID:27502154

  12. Guided self-assembly of Si-containing block copolymer with a topcoat surface treatment

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Seshimo, Takehiro; Utsumi, Yoshiyuki; Dazai, Takahiro; Maehashi, Takaya; Ohmori, Katsumi

    2014-03-01

    Directed self-assembly (DSA) of block copolymers (BCPs) is one of candidate for next generation patterning technique. Many good demonstrations of DSA have been reported using polystyrene-block-poly(methyl methacrylate) (PS-b- PMMA) these days. On the other hands, BCPs which show high chi parameter are being developed because the BCPs can be formed smaller features than PS-b-PMMA. Si-containing BCPs are one of them. Moreover Si-containing BCPs show higher etch selectivity than PS-b-PMMA because of higher etch resistance of Si-containing block. Unfortunately, while Si-containing BCPs can be aligned by solvent annealing, they but cannot be aligned perpendicular to the substrate by thermal annealing. Because Si-containing block which has low surface energy achieves maximum interaction with air interface by forming a top parallel wetting layer to the substrate. One solution to control of surface energy on top surface is the use of Top-Coat (TC). It has been already demonstrated that TC with Si-containing BCP could form perpendicular pattern. The challenges are TC coating onto BCP film and TC stripping after annealing. In order to solve these problems, polarity-changeable type TC has been developed. The effect of TC materials to generate finger print of BCP has been reported. However, this TC process should combine with DSA process to form aligned patterns. Graphoepitaxy is one of the DSA technique to align BCP pattern using guide pattern. In this technique, the characteristic of guide pattern side wall is very important to control BCP pattern alignment for the Graphoepitaxy process. Also, in order to establish the process, there are two key parameters for the materials. One is BCP and guide pattern should have enough resistance to TC solvent through TC coating process. The other is TC can be removed easily with basic aqueous solution before BCP patterning. In this report, a detail of examination for TC Graphoepitaxy process will be discussed.

  13. Aqueous Self-Assembly of Non-Ionic Bottlebrush Block Copolymer Surfactants with Tunable Molecular Shapes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rzayev, Javid

    2015-03-01

    Polymer amphiphiles provide a robust and versatile platform for the fabrication of nanostructured soft matter. In this research, we explore a new class of polymer surfactants based on comb-like bottlebrush architecture as highly tunable molecular building blocks for aqueous self-assembly. Excluded volume interactions between densely grafted polymer side chains in the bottlebrush architecture are alleviated by backbone stretching, which leads to the formation of shape-persistent cylindrical macromolecules whose molecular dimensions can be precisely tailored during chemical synthesis. Amphiphilic bottlebrush block copolymers containing hydrophobic polylactide (PLA) and hydrophilic poly(oligoethylene oxide methacrylate) (PEO) side chains of various lengths were synthesized by a combination of controlled radical and ring-opening polymerizations. In dilute aqueous solutions, bottlebrush surfactants rapidly assembled into spherical, cylindrical and bilayer aggregates, as visualized by cryogenic transmission electron microscopy (cryo-TEM). Depending on the compositional side chain asymmetry, the formation of spherical micelles with different sizes and dispersities was observed. The molecular shape-dependent assembly was analyzed with help of a packing parameter (p) computed from the molecular composition data akin to small molecule surfactants, with most uniform spherical aggregates observed for bottlebrush amphiphiles with p close to 0.3. The formation of highly uniform micelles and the presence of a rich morphological diagram with relatively narrow compositional windows were attributed to the lack of conformational freedom in bottlebrush surfactants. Similarly, the unusual formation of cylindrical micelles with long aspect ratios for such high molecular weight amphiphiles was attributed to their inability to stabilize morphological defects, such as Y-junctions, with large deviations from mean curvature. Financial support for this work was provided by the National

  14. John H. Dillon Medal Lecture: Magnetic Field Directed Self-Assembly of Block Copolymers and Surfactant Mesophases

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Osuji, Chinedum

    2015-03-01

    Molecular self-assembly of block copolymers and small molecule surfactants gives rise to a rich phase behavior as a function of temperature, composition, and other variables. We consider the directed self-assembly of such soft mesophases using magnetic fields, principally through the use of in situ x-ray scattering studies. Field alignment is predicated on a sufficiently large product of magnetic anisotropy and grain size to produce magnetostatic interactions which are substantive relative to thermal forces. We examine the role of field strength on the phase behavior and alignment dynamics of a series of soft mesophases, outlining the possibility to readily create highly ordered functional materials over macroscopic length scales. We show that magnetic fields as large as 10 T have little discernable impact on the stability of block copolymer systems considered, with shifts in order-disorder transition temperatures of roughly 5 mK or smaller. Consequently, directed self-assembly in these systems proceeds by nucleation of randomly aligned grains which thereafter rotate into registry with the field. We highlight the tradeoff between decreasing mobility and increasing anisotropic field interaction that dictates alignment kinetics while transiting from a high temperature disordered state to an ordered system at lower temperatures. NSF support through DMR-0847534 is gratefully acknowledged.

  15. Amphiphilic graft copolymers with ethyl cellulose backbone: Synthesis, self-assembly and tunable temperature-CO2 response.

    PubMed

    Yuan, Weizhong; Zou, Hui; Shen, Jin

    2016-01-20

    Amphiphilic ethyl cellulose-graft-poly(N,N-dimethylaminoethyl methacrylate) (EC-g-PDMAEMA) and ethyl cellulose-graft-poly(2-(2-methoxyethoxy)ethyl methacrylate-co-N,N-dimethylaminoethyl methacrylate) (EC-g-P(MEO2MA-co-DMAEMA)) graft copolymers were easily synthesized by atom transfer radical polymerization (ATRP). The micelles self-assembled from the copolymer presented switchable temperature-CO2 dually responsive properties. The value of lower critical solution temperature (LCST) for the copolymer micelle solutions could be adjusted by CO2/Ar. Moreover, due to the alteration of the ratio of DMAEMA to MEO2MA, the LCST values of the micelle solutions decreased with the increase of MEO2MA in copolymer. The temperature-CO2 dually responsive properties of the copolymer were reversible and could be accomplished through altering the temperature and bubbling CO2/Ar. The hydrodynamic radius (Rh) of the copolymer micelles was also influenced by the ratio of DMAEMA to MEO2MA and the stimuli of temperature and CO2/Ar. As a drug release system, the copolymer micelles could achieve the control release of doxorubicin (DOX) by changing the temperature and alternatively bubbling CO2/Ar. PMID:26572349

  16. Synthesis and Characterization of Fluorescently Labeled Diblock Copolymers for Location-Specific Measurements of The Glass Transition Temperature

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Christie, Dane; Register, Richard; Priestley, Rodney

    Interfaces play a determinant role in the size dependence of the glass transition temperature (Tg) of polymers confined to nanometric length scales. Interfaces are intrinsic in diblock copolymers, which, depending on their molecular weight and composition, are periodically nanostructured in the bulk. As a result diblock copolymers are model systems for characterizing the effect of interfaces on Tg in bulk nanostructured materials. Investigating the effect of intrinsic interfaces on Tg in diblock copolymers has remained unexplored due to their small periodic length scale. By selectively incorporating trace amounts of a fluorescent probe into a diblock copolymer, Tg can be characterized relative to the diblock copolymer's intrinsic interface using fluorescence spectroscopy. Here, pyrene is selectively incorporated into the poly(methyl methacrylate) (PMMA) block of lamellar forming diblock copolymers of poly(butyl- b-methyl methacrylate) (PBMA-PMMA). Preliminary results show a correlation of Tg as measured by fluorescence with the onset of Tg as measured by calorimetry in labeled homopolymers of PMMA. This result is consistent with previous characterizations of Tg using fluorescence spectroscopy. In selectively labeled diblock copolymers Tg is found to vary systematically depending on the distance of the probe from the PBMA-PMMA interface. We acknowledge funding from the Princeton Center for Complex Materials, a MRSEC supported by NSF Grant DMR 1420541.

  17. Combination chemotherapy using core-shell nanoparticles through the self-assembly of HPMA-based copolymers and degradable polyester.

    PubMed

    Jäger, Eliézer; Jäger, Alessandro; Chytil, Petr; Etrych, Tomáš; Ríhová, Blanka; Giacomelli, Fernando Carlos; Stěpánek, Petr; Ulbrich, Karel

    2013-01-28

    The preparation of core-shell polymeric nanoparticles simultaneously loaded with docetaxel (DTXL) and doxorubicin (DOX) is reported herein. The self-assembly of the aliphatic biodegradable copolyester PBS/PBDL (poly(butylene succinate-co-butylene dilinoleate)) and HPMA-based copolymers (N-(2-hydroxypropyl)methacrylamide-based copolymers) hydrophobically modified by the incorporation of cholesterol led to the formation of narrow-size-distributed (PDI<0.10) sub-200-nm polymeric nanoparticles suitable for passive tumor-targeting drug delivery based on the size-dependent EPR (enhanced permeability and retention) effect. The PHPMA provided to the self-assembled nanoparticle stability against aggregation as evaluated in vitro. The highly hydrophobic drug docetaxel (DTXL) was physically entrapped within the PBS/PBDL copolyester core and the hydrophilic drug doxorubicin hydrochloride (DOX·HCl) was chemically conjugated to the reactive PHPMA copolymer shell via hydrazone bonding that allowed its pH-sensitive release. This strategy enabled the combination chemotherapy by the simultaneous DOX and DTXL drug delivery. The structure of the nanoparticles was characterized in detail using static (SLS), dynamic (DLS) and electrophoretic (ELS) light scattering besides transmission electron microscopy (TEM). The use of nanoparticles simultaneously loaded with DTXL and DOX provided a more efficient suppression of tumor-cell growth in mice bearing EL-4 T cell lymphoma when compared to the effect of nanoparticles loaded with either DTXL or DOX separately. Additionally, the obtained self-assembled nanoparticles enable further development of targeting strategies based on the use of multiple ligands attached to an HPMA copolymer on the particle surface for simultaneous passive and active targeting and different combination therapies. PMID:23178950

  18. Thermo-responsive Diblock Copolymer Worm Gels in Non-polar Solvents

    PubMed Central

    2014-01-01

    Benzyl methacrylate (BzMA) is polymerized using a poly(lauryl methacrylate) macromolecular chain transfer agent (PLMA macro-CTA) using reversible addition–fragmentation chain transfer (RAFT) polymerization at 70 °C in n-dodecane. This choice of solvent leads to an efficient dispersion polymerization, with polymerization-induced self-assembly (PISA) occurring via the growing PBzMA block to produce a range of PLMA–PBzMA diblock copolymer nano-objects, including spheres, worms, and vesicles. In the present study, particular attention is paid to the worm phase, which forms soft free-standing gels at 20 °C due to multiple inter-worm contacts. Such worm gels exhibit thermo-responsive behavior: heating above 50 °C causes degelation due to the onset of a worm-to-sphere transition. Degelation occurs because isotropic spheres interact with each other much less efficiently than the highly anisotropic worms. This worm-to-sphere thermal transition is essentially irreversible on heating a dilute solution (0.10% w/w) but is more or less reversible on heating a more concentrated dispersion (20% w/w). The relatively low volatility of n-dodecane facilitates variable-temperature rheological studies, which are consistent with eventual reconstitution of the worm phase on cooling to 20 °C. Variable-temperature 1H NMR studies conducted in d26-dodecane confirm partial solvation of the PBzMA block at elevated temperature: surface plasticization of the worm cores is invoked to account for the observed change in morphology, because this is sufficient to increase the copolymer curvature and hence induce a worm-to-sphere transition. Small-angle X-ray scattering and TEM are used to investigate the structural changes that occur during the worm-to-sphere-to-worm thermal cycle; experiments conducted at 1.0 and 5.0% w/w demonstrate the concentration-dependent (ir)reversibility of these morphological transitions. PMID:24678949

  19. Thermo-responsive diblock copolymer worm gels in non-polar solvents.

    PubMed

    Fielding, Lee A; Lane, Jacob A; Derry, Matthew J; Mykhaylyk, Oleksandr O; Armes, Steven P

    2014-04-16

    Benzyl methacrylate (BzMA) is polymerized using a poly(lauryl methacrylate) macromolecular chain transfer agent (PLMA macro-CTA) using reversible addition-fragmentation chain transfer (RAFT) polymerization at 70 °C in n-dodecane. This choice of solvent leads to an efficient dispersion polymerization, with polymerization-induced self-assembly (PISA) occurring via the growing PBzMA block to produce a range of PLMA-PBzMA diblock copolymer nano-objects, including spheres, worms, and vesicles. In the present study, particular attention is paid to the worm phase, which forms soft free-standing gels at 20 °C due to multiple inter-worm contacts. Such worm gels exhibit thermo-responsive behavior: heating above 50 °C causes degelation due to the onset of a worm-to-sphere transition. Degelation occurs because isotropic spheres interact with each other much less efficiently than the highly anisotropic worms. This worm-to-sphere thermal transition is essentially irreversible on heating a dilute solution (0.10% w/w) but is more or less reversible on heating a more concentrated dispersion (20% w/w). The relatively low volatility of n-dodecane facilitates variable-temperature rheological studies, which are consistent with eventual reconstitution of the worm phase on cooling to 20 °C. Variable-temperature (1)H NMR studies conducted in d26-dodecane confirm partial solvation of the PBzMA block at elevated temperature: surface plasticization of the worm cores is invoked to account for the observed change in morphology, because this is sufficient to increase the copolymer curvature and hence induce a worm-to-sphere transition. Small-angle X-ray scattering and TEM are used to investigate the structural changes that occur during the worm-to-sphere-to-worm thermal cycle; experiments conducted at 1.0 and 5.0% w/w demonstrate the concentration-dependent (ir)reversibility of these morphological transitions. PMID:24678949

  20. A Comparative Study of Interfacial Slip in Polymer Blends with Nanoparticles and Diblock Copolymer Compatibilizers

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ortiz, Joseph; Gersappe, Dilip

    2012-02-01

    The interfacial region in polymer blends has been identified as a low viscosity region in which considerable slip can occur when the blend is subjected to shear forces. Here we use Molecular Dynamics simulations to establish and compare the roles that added nanoparticle fillers and diblock copolymers play in modifying the interfacial rheology. By choosing conditions under which the fillers and diblocks are localized, either in the two phases or at the interface, we can look at the interplay between their strengthening capabilities and the change in the interfacial slip behavior. We examine particle size, attraction between the particle and the polymer component, and the amount of filler in the material and compared this to systems including diblock copolymers at the same volume fraction. Our studies are performed, for a variety of shear values, both above and below the point at which the filler particles form a transient network in the blend.

  1. Effect of Hyaluronic Acid on the Self Assembling Behaviour of PEO-PPO Copolymers in Aqueous Solution

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mayol, L.; Borzacchiello, A.; Quaglia, F.; La Rotonda, M. I.; Ambrosio, L.

    2008-07-01

    The influence of hyaluronic acid (HA) on the self assembling properties of pluronic (PEO-PPO-PEO block copolymers) blends has been studied with the aim of engineering thermosensitive and mucoadhesive polymeric platforms for drug delivery. The gelation temperature (Tgel), viscoelastic properties and mucoadhesive force of the systems were investigated and optimised by means of rheological analyses. Pluronic micellar radius was evaluated by Photon Correlation Spectroscopy (PCS). The addition of Low Molecular Weight HA did not hamper the self assembling process of pluronics just delaying the gelation temperature of few Celsius degrees. Furthermore, HA presence led to a strong increase of the pluronics gel rheological properties. PCS results show, in formulations containing HA, aggregates with hydrodynamic diameters values much higher than those of pluronic micelles. Mucoadhesive experiments indicate the possibility of interactions between the pluronic/HA gel and mucus glycoproteins.

  2. Hybrid hydrogels self-assembled from graft copolymers containing complementary β-sheets as hydroxyapatite nucleation scaffolds

    PubMed Central

    Wu, Larisa C.; Yang, Jiyuan; Kopeček, Jindřich

    2011-01-01

    A biomimetic material that can assist bone tissue regeneration was proposed. A bone scaffold based on a hybrid hydrogel self-assembled from N-(2-hydroxypropyl)methacrylamide (HPMA) copolymers grafted with complementary β-sheet peptides was designed. Investigation of self-assembly by circular dichroism spectroscopy suggested that hydrogel formation was triggered through association of the complementary β-sheet motifs. Congo Red and thioflavin T binding, as well as transmission electron microscopy confirmed the formation of a fibril network. Besides mimicking the natural bone extracellular matrix and maintaining preosteoblast cells viability, this hydrogel, as shown by scanning electron microscopy and Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy, provided surfaces characterized by epitaxy that favored hydroxyapatite-like crystal nucleation and growth potentially beneficial for biointegration. PMID:21549421

  3. Hybrid hydrogels self-assembled from graft copolymers containing complementary β-sheets as hydroxyapatite nucleation scaffolds.

    PubMed

    Wu, Larisa C; Yang, Jiyuan; Kopeček, Jindřich

    2011-08-01

    A biomimetic material that can assist bone tissue regeneration was proposed. A bone scaffold based on a hybrid hydrogel self-assembled from N-(2-hydroxypropyl)methacrylamide (HPMA) copolymers grafted with complementary β-sheet peptides was designed. Investigation of self-assembly by circular dichroism spectroscopy suggested that hydrogel formation was triggered through association of the complementary β-sheet motifs. Congo Red and thioflavin T binding, as well as transmission electron microscopy confirmed the formation of a fibril network. Besides mimicking the natural bone extracellular matrix and maintaining preosteoblast cells viability, this hydrogel, as shown by scanning electron microscopy and Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy, provided surfaces characterized by epitaxy that favored hydroxyapatite-like crystal nucleation and growth potentially beneficial for biointegration. PMID:21549421

  4. Biocompatibility of poly(epsilon-caprolactone)/poly(ethylene glycol) diblock copolymers with nanophase separation.

    PubMed

    Hsu, Shan-Hui; Tang, Cheng-Ming; Lin, Chu-Chieh

    2004-11-01

    In this study, we prepared diblock copolymers of poly(epsilon-caprolactone) (PCL) and poly(ethylene glycol) (PEG) by aluminum alkoxide catalysts. The biological responses to the spin cast surface of different PCL/PEG diblock copolymers were investigated in vitro. Our results showed that surface hydrophilicity improved with the increased PEG segments in diblock copolymers and that bacteria adhesion was inhibited by increased PEG contents. PCL-PEG 23:77 showed nanotopography on the surface. The number of adhered endothelial cells, platelets and monocytes on diblock copolymer surfaces was inhibited in PCL-PEG 77:23 and enhanced in PCL-PEG 23:77. Nevertheless, the platelet and monocyte activation on PCL-PEG 23:77 was reduced. PCL-PEG 23:77 had better cellular response as well as lower degree of platelet and monocyte activation. The current study was the first one to demonstrate that surface nanotopography could influence not only cell adhesion and growth but also platelet and monocyte activation. PMID:15159075

  5. Disorder-to-order transition of diblock copolymers induced by alkyne/azide click chemistry

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wei, Xinyu; Chen, Wei; Chen, Xiangji; Emrick, Todd; Russell, Thomas

    2010-03-01

    Alkyne/azide click chemistry is shown as a novel approach to induce the disorder-to-order transition (DOT) of diblock copolymers. A series of poly(ethylene oxide)-b-poly(n-butyl methacrylate-r-propargyl methacrylate) (PEO-b-P(nBMA-r-PgMA)) diblock copolymers were prepared and it is shown that the neat diblock copolymers are in the phase mixed state over the temperature range invetigated. Microphase separation was observed when the diblock copolymers were mixed with rhodamine B azide and annealed at elevated temperature. The azide molecule reacted with the terminal alkyne groups in P(nBMA-r-PgMA) block and attached to polymer backbone, resulting in a significant increase in the nonfavorable interaction between the two blocks. The DOT of these blends was observed both in the bulk and in thin films. The evolution of the morphology during the transition is determined by the mole ratio between alkyne and azide groups, annealing time and temperature, and interfacial energy.

  6. Template-Free Bottom-Up Method for Fabricating Diblock Copolymer Patchy Particles.

    PubMed

    Ye, Xianggui; Li, Zhan-Wei; Sun, Zhao-Yan; Khomami, Bamin

    2016-05-24

    Patchy particles are one of most important building blocks for hierarchical structures because of the discrete patches on their surface. We have demonstrated a convenient, simple, and scalable bottom-up method for fabricating diblock copolymer patchy particles through both experiments and dissipative particle dynamics (DPD) simulations. The experimental method simply involves reducing the solvent quality of the diblock copolymer solution by the slow addition of a nonsolvent. Specifically, the fabrication of diblock copolymer patchy particles begins with a crew-cut soft-core micelle, where the micelle core is significantly swelled by the solvent. With water addition at an extremely slow rate, the crew-cut soft-core micelles first form a larger crew-cut micelle. With further water addition, the corona-forming blocks of the crew-cut micelles begin to aggregate and eventually form well-defined patches. Both experiments and DPD simulations indicate that the number of patches has a very strong dependence on the diblock copolymer composition-the particle has more patches on the surface with a lower volume fraction of patch-forming blocks. Furthermore, particles with more patches have a greater ability to assemble, and particles with fewer patches have a greater ability to merge once assembled. PMID:27109249

  7. Directing Hybrid Structures by Combining Self-Assembly of Functional Block Copolymers and Atomic Layer Deposition: A Demonstration on Hybrid Photovoltaics.

    PubMed

    Moshonov, Moshe; Frey, Gitti L

    2015-11-24

    The simplicity and versatility of block copolymer self-assembly offers their use as templates for nano- and meso-structured materials. However, in most cases, the material processing requires multiple steps, and the block copolymer is a sacrificial building block. Here, we combine a self-assembled block copolymer template and atomic layer deposition (ALD) of a metal oxide to generate functional hybrid films in a simple process with no etching or burning steps. This approach is demonstrated by using the crystallization-induced self-assembly of a rod-coil block copolymer, P3HT-b-PEO, and the ALD of ZnO. The block copolymer self-assembles into fibrils, ∼ 20 nm in diameter and microns long, with crystalline P3HT cores and amorphous PEO corona. The affinity of the ALD precursors to the PEO corona directs the exclusive deposition of crystalline ZnO within the PEO domains. The obtained hybrid structure possesses the properties desired for photovoltaic films: donor-acceptor continuous nanoscale interpenetrated networks. Therefore, we integrated the films into single-layer hybrid photovoltaics devices, thus demonstrating that combining self-assembly of functional block copolymers and ALD is a simple approach to direct desired complex hybrid morphologies. PMID:26523422

  8. Morphological Control of Anisotropic Self-Assemblies from Alternating Poly(p-dioxanone)-poly(ethylene glycol) Multiblock Copolymer Depending on the Combination Effect of Crystallization and Micellization.

    PubMed

    Wang, Mei-Jia; Wang, Hao; Chen, Si-Chong; Chen, Cheng; Liu, Ya

    2015-06-30

    A novel and facile method was developed for morphological controlling of self-assemblies prepared by crystallization induced self-assembly of crystalline-coil copolymer depending on the combination effect of crystallization and micellization. The morphological evolution of the self-assemblies of alternating poly(p-dioxanone)-block-poly(ethylene glycol) (PPDO-PEG) multiblock copolymer prepared by different solvent mixing methods in aqueous solution were investigated. "Chrysanthemum"-like and "star anise"-like self-assemblies were obtained at different rates of solvent mixing. The results suggested gradually change in solvent quality (slowly dropping water into DMF solution) leaded to a hierarchical micellization-crystallization process of core-forming PPDO blocks, and flake-like particles were formed at the initial stage of crystallization. Meanwhile, crystallization induced micellization process occurred when solvent quality changed drastically. Shuttle-like particles, which have much smaller size than those of flake-like particles, were formed at the initial stage of crystallization when quickly injecting water into DMF solution of the copolymer. Therefore, owing to the different changing rate of solvent quality, which may result in different combination effect of crystallization and micellization during self-assembly of the copolymer, PPDO-PEG self-assemblies with different hierarchical morphology in nano scale could be obtained. PMID:26061590

  9. Microphase separation in thin films of lamellar forming poydisperse di-block copolymers

    DOE PAGESBeta

    Kumar, Rajeev; Kilbey, II, S Michael; Ankner, John Francis; Heller, William T; Chen, Jihua; Sides, Scott; Browning, Jim; Lokitz, Bradley S; Sumpter, Bobby G

    2015-01-01

    Microphase separation in thin films of lamellar forming polydisperse di-block copolymers is studied using self-consistent field theory (SCFT) and neutron reflectivity experiments. Diblock copolymers containing a polydisperse block (poly(glycidylmethacrylate) (PGMA)) connected to a near monodisperse block (poly(4,4-dimethyl-d6-2-vinylazlactone) (PVDMA-d6)) are considered in this work. Effects of chain length polydispersity, film thickness, substrate monomer and monomer-monomer interactions on the microphase segregation are studied using SCFT. The theoretical study reveals that an increase in polydispersity tends to decrease the number of lamellar strata that can be packed in a film of given thickness, in comparison to a film created with monodisperse di-block copolymers.more » This is a direct consequence of an increase in lamellar domain spacing with an increase in polydispersity index. These predictions are verified by comparison with neutron reflectity experiments done on thin films made from moderately polydisperse PGMA-b-PVDMA-d6 di-block copolymer deposited on silicon substrates. Furthermore, it is shown that polydispersity induces conformational asymmetry and an increase in the polydispersity index makes the polydisperse blocks less flexible in comparison with monodisperse blocks. It is shown that conformational asymmetry effects, which are entropic in origin and of increasing importance as film thickness descreases, drive the polydisperse blocks to the middle of the films despite favorable substrate interactions. Prediction of neutron reflectivity profiles using the SCFT provides a facile and robust route for model verification and leads to useful physical insights into behavior of di-block copolymers near interfaces.« less

  10. Self-assembly of Open-Shell-containing Block Polymer Thin Films

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Boudouris, Bryan; Rostro, Lizbeth; Baradwaj, Aditya; Laster, Jennifer

    Radical polymers, where a stable open-shell group is present on each repeat unit of a non-conjugated macromolecular backbone, are emerging as promising materials in organic electronic and magnetic applications. As such, designing molecular motifs that allow for the self-assemble of these open-shell species into nanostructured domains could be beneficial in a host of next-generation flexible electronic applications. In addition, the relatively flexible nature of their macromolecular backbone and ability to conduct charge in the amorphous state offer distinct advantages regarding their self-assembly relative to block polymers based on conjugated semiconducting polymers. Here, we demonstrate the controlled synthesis and self-assembly of diblock copolymers containing radical polymer moieties. In fact, we show that A-B diblock copolymers, where the A moiety contains nitroxide radical functionalities and the B moiety is a closed-shell, low glass transition temperature polymer, self-assemble into ordered structures with domain spacing values that are consistent with common coil-coil diblock copolymers (d = 30 nm). In this way, we present a means by which to readily generate electronically-active macromolecules that self-assemble into nanostructured thin films with controlled morphologies over long ranges.

  11. Synthesis and self-assembly behavior of a biodegradable and sustainable soybean oil-based copolymer nanomicelle

    PubMed Central

    2014-01-01

    Herein, we report a novel amphiphilic biodegradable and sustainable soybean oil-based copolymer (SBC) prepared by grafting hydrophilic and biocompatible hydroxyethyl acrylate (HEA) polymeric segments onto the natural hydrophobic soybean oil chains. FTIR, H1-NMR, and GPC measurements have been used to investigate the molecular structure of the obtained SBC macromolecules. Self-assembly behaviors of the prepared SBC in aqueous solution have also been extensively evaluated by fluorescence spectroscopy and transmission electron microscopy. The prepared SBC nanocarrier with the size range of 40 to 80 nm has a potential application in the biomedical field. PMID:25170329

  12. Cross-Linked Conjugated Polymer Fibrils: Robust Nanowires from Functional Polythiophene Diblock Copolymers

    SciTech Connect

    Hammer, Brenton A. G.; Bokel, Felicia A.; Hayward, Ryan C.; Emrick, Todd

    2011-09-27

    A series of poly(3-hexyl thiophene) (P3HT)-based diblock copolymers were prepared and examined in solution for their assembly into fibrils, and post-assembly cross-linking into robust nanowire structures. P3HT-b-poly(3-methanol thiophene) (P3MT), and P3HT-b-poly(3-aminopropyloxymethyl thiophene) (P3AmT) diblock copolymers were synthesized using Grignard metathesis (GRIM) polymerization. Fibrils formed from solution assembly of these copolymers are thus decorated with hydroxyl and amine functionality, and cross-linking is achieved by reaction of diisocyanates with the hydroxyl and amine groups. A variety of cross-linked structures, characterized by transmission electron microscopy (TEM), were produced by this method, including dense fibrillar sheets, fibril bundles, or predominately individual fibrils, depending on the chosen reaction conditions. In solution, the cross-linked fibrils maintained their characteristic vibronic structure in solvents that would normally disrupt (dissolve) the structures.

  13. Dynamical Studies of Charged Di-Block Copolymer in Different Dielectric Media

    SciTech Connect

    Goswami, Monojoy; Kumar, Rajeev; Sumpter, Bobby G; Mays, Jimmy

    2011-01-01

    Brownian Dynamics simulations are carried out to understand the effect of temperature and dielectric constant of the medium on microphase separation of charged-neutral diblock copolymer systems. For different dielectric media, we focus on the effect of temperature on the morphology and dynamics of model charged diblock copolymers. In this study we examine in detail a system with a partially charged block copolymer consisting of 75% neutral blocks and 25% of charged blocks with 50% degree of ionization. Our investigations show that due to the presence of strong electrostatic interactions between the charged block and counterions, the block copolymermorphologies are rather different than those of their neutral counterpart at low dielectric constant, however at high dielectric constant the neutral diblock behaviors are observed. This article highlights the effect of dielectric constant of two different media on different thermodynamic and dynamic quantities. At low dielectric constant, the morphologies are a direct outcome of the ion-counterion multiplet formation. At high dielectric constant, these charged diblocks behavior resembles that of neutral and weakly charged polymers with sustainable long-range order. Similar behavior has been observed in chain swelling, albeit with small changes in swelling ratio for large changes in polarity of the medium. The results of our simulations agree with recent experimental results and are consistent with recent theoretical predictions of counterion adsorption on flexible polyelectrolytes.

  14. Molecular Dynamics Simulations of Penetrants in Microphase Separated Tapered Diblock Copolymers

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Seo, Youngmi; Brown, Jonathan R.; Hall, Lisa M.

    Tapered AB diblock copolymers contain pure A and B monomer blocks on the ends with a tapered midblock of intermediate composition, providing taper length as an additional tuning parameter to control microphase separation and interfacial behavior. We model the midblock as a statistical linear gradient from pure A to pure B. Recent experiments with salt dissolved in one of microphases show that a certain length of taper increases ion conductivity while the same length of inverse taper lowers conductivity. We perform coarse-grained molecular dynamics simulations of tapered copolymers with monomer sized penetrants, which have preferential interactions with one microphase, to better understand this observation and the general effects of tapering on dynamics. We calculate penetrant diffusion, polymer relaxation times, and other quantities over the range from 0% (diblock) to 100% (full gradient) taper length, with the taper direction either normal or inverse (with the A side of the taper connected to the pure B block). Normal taper results typically lie between those of diblocks and full gradients, while inverse tapers show strong nonmonotonic behavior as a function of taper length. For intermediate length inverse tapers, penetrant and monomer dynamics are significantly slower than those of diblocks or normal tapers, and this relates to the folding of the inverse chains back and forth across the interface. To provide further insight, we also compare to the dynamics of random copolymers of various compositions. Based upon work supported by NSF Grant 1454343.

  15. John H. Dillon Medal: Tapered Block Copolymers: Tuning Self-Assembly and Properties by Manipulating Monomer Segment Distributions

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Epps, Thomas

    The self-assembly of block copolymers (BCPs) presents unique opportunities to design materials with attractive chemical and mechanical properties based on the ability of BCPs to form periodic structures with nanoscale domain spacings. One area of recent progress in our group focuses on the behavior of tapered BCPs in which the segment distribution at the interface between blocks is synthetically varied to tune morphology, domain density profiles, thermal transitions as well as mechanical and transport properties. Two application targets for these materials are lithium-ion conducting membranes for batteries and nanostructured thin films for nanotemplates and barrier membranes. In the first target area, we found that the taper volume fraction and composition allow us to manipulate the self-assembly of salt-doped BCPs in a well-defined manner that permits optimization of morphology and ion-content. Additionally, we found that the tapered interfaces influence the glass-transition behavior of the ion-conducting block leading to significant changes in lithium-ion transport (ion conductivity). In the second target area, we found the taper content alters the rate of self-assembly as well as the rate of island/hole formation (and ultimate island/hole size) upon thermal annealing. Additionally, using reflectivity techniques, we probed the domain density profiles as a function of taper composition and linked these profiles to changes in domain spacing and glass transition temperature. Overall, these studies show the versatility of tapering to provide a unique handle for simultaneously optimizing multiple materials properties.

  16. Self-Assembly of Oligosaccharide-b-PMMA Block Copolymer Systems: Glyco-Nanoparticles and Their Degradation under UV Exposure.

    PubMed

    Zepon, Karine M; Otsuka, Issei; Bouilhac, Cécile; Muniz, Edvani C; Soldi, Valdir; Borsali, Redouane

    2016-05-10

    This paper discusses the self-assembly of oligosaccharide-containing block copolymer and the use of ultraviolet (UV) to obtain nanoporous glyco-nanoparticles by photodegradation of the synthetic polymer block. Those glyco-nanoparticles consisting of oligosaccharide-based shell and a photodegradable core domain were obtained from the self-assembly of maltoheptaose-block-poly(methyl methacrylate) (MH-b-PMMA48) using the nanoprecipitation protocol. MH-b-PMMA48 self-assembled into well-defined spherical micelles (major compound) with a hydrodynamic radius (Rh) of ca. 10 nm and also into large compound micellar aggregates (minor compound) with an Rh of ca. 65 nm. The oligosaccharide shells of these glyco-nanoparticles were cross-linked through the Michael-type addition of divinyl sulfone under dilute conditions to minimize the intermicellar cross-linking. The core domain photodegradation of the cross-linked glyco-nanoparticles was induced under exposure to 254 nm UV radiation, resulting in porous glyco-nanoparticles with an Rh of ca. 44 nm. The morphology of the cross-linked shell and the core photodegradation of these glyco-nanoparticles were characterized using static light scattering, dynamic light scattering, Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy, proton nuclear magnetic resonance, field-emission gun-scanning electron microscopy, and transmission electron microscopy. The innovative aspect of this approach concerns the fact that after removing the PMMA domains the porous nanoparticles are mostly composed of biocompatible and nontoxic oligosaccharides. PMID:27054350

  17. Directed Self-assembly of Block Copolymer with Sub-15 nm Domain Spacing Using Nanoimprinted Photoresist Templates

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sun, Zhiwei; Chen, Zhenbin; Zhang, Wenxu; Coughlin, E. Bryan; Xiao, Shuaigang; Russell, Thomas

    There has been increasing interest in preparing block copolymer thin films with ultra-small domain spacings for use as etching masks for ultra-high resolution nanolithography. One method to prepare block copolymer materials with small feature sizes is salt doping, increasing the Flory-Huggins interaction and allowing microphase separation to be maintained at lower molecular weights. Lamellae-forming P2VP- b-PS- b-P2VP block copolymer with various molecular weight was synthesized using RAFT polymerization with a dual functional chain transfer agent. Copper (II) Chloride or Gold (III) chloride was found to be selectively associated with P2VP block and increase the unfavorable interactions between PS and P2VP blocks, driving the disordered block copolymer into the ordered state. A 14 nm lamellar spacing of P2VP- b-PS- b-P2VP thin film was prepared using copper (II) Chloride doping after acetone vapor annealing on neutral brushes. Metallic nano-wire arrays were prepared after selective infiltration of platinum salt into the P2VP domain and oxygen plasma treatment. The directed self-assembly of salt doped P2VP- b-PS- b-P2VP triblock copolymer having long-rang lateral order on nanoimprinted photoresist templates with shallow trenches was also studied.

  18. Molecular modeling of directed self-assembly of block copolymers: Fundamental studies of processing conditions and evolutionary pattern design

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Khaira, Gurdaman Singh

    Rapid progress in the semi-conductor industry has pushed for smaller feature sizes on integrated electronic circuits. Current photo-lithographic techniques for nanofabrication have reached their technical limit and are problematic when printing features small enough to meet future industrial requirements. "Bottom-up'' techniques, such as the directed self-assembly (DSA) of block copolymers (BCP), are the primary contenders to compliment current "top-down'' photo-lithography ones. For industrial requirements, the defect density from DSA needs to be less than 1 defect per 10 cm by 10 cm. Knowledge of both material synthesis and the thermodynamics of the self-assembly process are required before optimal operating conditions can be found to produce results adequate for industry. The work present in this thesis is divided into three chapters, each discussing various aspects of DSA as studied via a molecular model that contains the essential physics of BCP self-assembly. Though there are various types of guiding fields that can be used to direct BCPs over large wafer areas with minimum defects, this study focuses only on chemically patterned substrates. The first chapter addresses optimal pattern design by describing a framework where molecular simulations of various complexities are coupled with an advanced optimization technique to find a pattern that directs a target morphology. It demonstrates the first ever study where BCP self-assembly on a patterned substrate is optimized using a three-dimensional description of the block-copolymers. For problems pertaining to DSA, the methodology is shown to converge much faster than the traditional random search approach. The second chapter discusses the metrology of BCP thin films using TEM tomography and X-ray scattering techniques, such as CDSAXS and GISAXS. X-ray scattering has the advantage of being able to quickly probe the average structure of BCP morphologies over large wafer areas; however, deducing the BCP morphology

  19. Directed self-assembly of poly(styrene)-block-poly(acrylic acid) copolymers for sub-20nm pitch patterning

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cheng, Jing; Lawson, Richard A.; Yeh, Wei-Ming; Jarnagin, Nathan D.; Peters, Andrew; Tolbert, Laren M.; Henderson, Clifford L.

    2012-03-01

    Directed self-assembly (DSA) of block copolymers is a promising technology for extending the patterning capability of current lithographic exposure tools. For example, production of sub-40 nm pitch features using 193nm exposure technologies is conceivably possible using DSA methods without relying on time consuming, challenging, and expensive multiple patterning schemes. Significant recent work has focused on demonstration of the ability to produce large areas of regular grating structures with low numbers of defects using self-assembly of poly(styrene)-b-poly(methyl methacrylate) copolymers (PS-b-PMMA). While these recent results are promising and have shown the ability to print pitches approaching 20 nm using DSA, the ability to advance to even smaller pitches will be dependent upon the ability to develop new block copolymers with higher χ values and the associated alignment and block removal processes required to achieve successful DSA with these new materials. This paper reports on work focused on identifying higher χ block copolymers and their associated DSA processes for sub-20 nm pitch patterning. In this work, DSA using polystyrene-b-polyacid materials has been explored. Specifically, it is shown that poly(styrene)-b-poly(acrylic acid) copolymers (PS-b-PAA) is one promising material for achieving substantially smaller pitch patterns than those possible with PS-b-PMMA while still utilizing simple hydrocarbon polymers. In fact, it is anticipated that much of the learning that has been done with the PS-b-PMMA system, such as development of highly selective plasma etch block removal procedures, can be directly leveraged or transferred to the PS-b-PAA system. Acetone vapor annealing of PS-b-PAA (Mw=16,000 g/mol with 50:50 mole ratio of PS:PAA) and its self-assembly into a lamellar morphology is demonstrated to generate a pattern pitch size (L0) of 21 nm. The χ value for PS-b-PAA was estimated from fingerprint pattern pitch data to be approximately 0.18 which

  20. Supramolecular cooperative self assembling in statistical copolymers - from two-dimensional to three dimensional assemblies

    SciTech Connect

    Stadler, R.; Hellmann, J.; Schirle, M.; Beckmann, J.

    1993-12-31

    Based on on previous work where it was shown that 4-urazoyl benzoic acid groups (U4A), which were statistically attached to polybutadiene, form ordered supramolecular arrays in the polymer matrix. The present work describes the synthesis of a new molecular building block capable for self assembling in the unpolar matrix. 5-urazoylisophthalic acid groups (U35A) attached to 1,4-polybutadiene chains show an endothermic transition, characteristic for supramolecular self assembling. The melting temperature increases for low levels of modification from 130{degrees}C up to 190{degrees}C. The IR-data indicate than the 5-urazoylisophthalic acid groups are 4-functional with respect to supramolecular self-addressing. Based on the detailed knowledge of the structure of the self-assembled domains in 4-urazoyl benzoic acid groups, a model is developed which describes qualitatively the observed material properties.

  1. Surface and interface structure of diblock copolymer brushes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Akgun, Bulent

    The main objective of the work presented in this thesis is to understand the surface and interface structure and dynamics of diblock copolymer brushes (DCBs). DCBs are stimuli-responsive materials and the surface properties of a DCB can be changed from those characteristic of one polymer block to those characteristic of the other one by treating the DCB with a solvent selective for one of its blocks. For this purpose, polystyrene- block-polyacrylate or polyacrylate-block-polystyrene brushes were synthesized using the "grafting from" technique in combination with atom transfer radical polymerization (ATRP). In the first part of this project the internal structure of DCBs after the synthesis and surface rearrangement were investigated using neutron reflectivity (NR) and grazing incidence small angle X-ray scattering (GISAXS). It was found that the internal brush structure depends strongly on the synthesis sequence of polymer blocks and the value of chiN. For small values of chiN (chiN ≤ 11), a model of two layers with an interfacial region of finite width provides a good description of the data. The interface width is found to be larger for DCBs which have the polymer block with the lower surface energy synthesized next to the substrate. A three layer model must be used to describe the structure of DCBs of larger chiN values (chiN ≤ 23) and of sufficiently asymmetric composition. The necessity of including a third layer is consistent with the presence of a lateral ordering of some type in the center of the brush, as evidenced by correlation peaks in the GISAXS data. The spacing of the in-plane ordering varies with the thickness of the poly(methyl acrylate) (PMA) block. After a DCB is treated with a selective solvent, Bragg rods appear in the GISAXS pattern. The appearance of Bragg rods indicates the formation of a new 2D structure which has a lateral spacing on the order of the total thickness of the brush. The Bragg rods disappear upon heating to 80

  2. Poly(ethylene oxide)-b-poly(L-lactide) diblock copolymer/carbon nanotube-based nanocomposites: LiCl as supramolecular structure-directing agent.

    PubMed

    Meyer, Franck; Raquez, Jean-Marie; Verge, Pierre; Martínez de Arenaza, Inger; Coto, Borja; Van Der Voort, Pascal; Meaurio, Emilio; Dervaux, Bart; Sarasua, Jose-Ramon; Du Prez, Filip; Dubois, Philippe

    2011-11-14

    This work relies on the CNT dispersion in either solution or a polymer matrix through the formation of a three-component supramolecular system composed of PEO-b-PLLA diblock copolymer, carbon nanotubes (CNTs), and lithium chloride. According to a one-pot procedure in solution, the "self-assembly" concept has demonstrated its efficiency using suspension tests of CNTs. Characterizations of the supramolecular system by photon correlation spectroscopy, Raman spectroscopy, and molecular dynamics simulations highlight the charge transfer interaction from the CNTs toward the PEO-b-PLLA/LiCl complex. Finally, this concept was successfully extended in bulk (absence of solvent) via melt-processing techniques by dispersing these complexes in a commercial polylactide (PLA) matrix. Electrical conductivity measurements and transmission electron microscopy attested for the remarkable dispersion of CNTs, confirming the design of high-performance PLA-based materials. PMID:21936499

  3. Dual-responsive polypseudorotaxanes based on block-selected inclusion between polyethylene-block-poly(ethylene glycol) diblock copolymers and 1,4-diethoxypillar[5]arene.

    PubMed

    Chen, Jianzhuang; Li, Nan; Gao, Yongping; Sun, Fugen; He, Jianping; Li, Yongsheng

    2015-10-21

    Based on the selective recognition of the polyethylene (PE) block of polyethylene-block-poly(ethylene glycol) (PE-b-PEG) by 1,4-diethoxypillar[5]arene (DEP5A), two novel thermo and competitive guest (1,4-dibromobutane or hexanedinitrile) responsive polypseudorotaxanes (PPRs) have been successfully constructed. The formation of PPRs both in solution and in the solid state was demonstrated by (1)H NMR, 2D NOESY, and WAXD analyses. TGA data illustrate that PPRs exhibit higher thermal stability than their precursor diblock copolymers. Moreover, intriguing porous disk-like aggregates are produced by electrospraying of PPRs in CHCl3 and the self-assembled structures of PPRs are totally changed by the addition of 1,4-dibromobutane or hexanedinitrile, demonstrating their competitive guest stimuli-responsiveness. PMID:26324953

  4. Inducing an Order-Order Morphological Transition via Chemical Degradation of Amphiphilic Diblock Copolymer Nano-Objects.

    PubMed

    Ratcliffe, Liam P D; Couchon, Claudie; Armes, Steven P; Paulusse, Jos M J

    2016-06-13

    The disulfide-based cyclic monomer, 3-methylidene-1,9-dioxa-5,12,13-trithiacyclopentadecane-2,8-dione (MTC), is statistically copolymerized with 2-hydroxypropyl methacrylate to form a range of diblock copolymer nano-objects via reversible addition-fragmentation chain transfer (RAFT) polymerization. Poly(glycerol monomethacrylate) (PGMA) is employed as the hydrophilic stabilizer block in this aqueous polymerization-induced self-assembly (PISA) formulation, which affords pure spheres, worms or vesicles depending on the target degree of polymerization for the core-forming block. When relatively low levels (<1 mol %) of MTC are incorporated, high monomer conversions (>99%) are achieved and high blocking efficiencies are observed, as judged by (1)H NMR spectroscopy and gel permeation chromatography (GPC), respectively. However, the side reactions that are known to occur when cyclic allylic sulfides such as MTC are statistically copolymerized with methacrylic comonomers lead to relatively broad molecular weight distributions. Nevertheless, the worm-like nanoparticles obtained via PISA can be successfully transformed into spherical nanoparticles by addition of excess tris(2-carboxyethyl)phosphine (TCEP) at pH 8-9. Surprisingly, DLS and TEM studies indicate that the time scale needed for this order-order transition is significantly longer than that required for cleavage of the disulfide bonds located in the worm cores indicated by GPC analysis. This reductive degradation pathway may enable the use of these chemically degradable nanoparticles in biomedical applications, such as drug delivery systems and responsive biomaterials. PMID:27228898

  5. Inducing an Order–Order Morphological Transition via Chemical Degradation of Amphiphilic Diblock Copolymer Nano-Objects

    PubMed Central

    2016-01-01

    The disulfide-based cyclic monomer, 3-methylidene-1,9-dioxa-5,12,13-trithiacyclopentadecane-2,8-dione (MTC), is statistically copolymerized with 2-hydroxypropyl methacrylate to form a range of diblock copolymer nano-objects via reversible addition–fragmentation chain transfer (RAFT) polymerization. Poly(glycerol monomethacrylate) (PGMA) is employed as the hydrophilic stabilizer block in this aqueous polymerization-induced self-assembly (PISA) formulation, which affords pure spheres, worms or vesicles depending on the target degree of polymerization for the core-forming block. When relatively low levels (<1 mol %) of MTC are incorporated, high monomer conversions (>99%) are achieved and high blocking efficiencies are observed, as judged by 1H NMR spectroscopy and gel permeation chromatography (GPC), respectively. However, the side reactions that are known to occur when cyclic allylic sulfides such as MTC are statistically copolymerized with methacrylic comonomers lead to relatively broad molecular weight distributions. Nevertheless, the worm-like nanoparticles obtained via PISA can be successfully transformed into spherical nanoparticles by addition of excess tris(2-carboxyethyl)phosphine (TCEP) at pH 8–9. Surprisingly, DLS and TEM studies indicate that the time scale needed for this order–order transition is significantly longer than that required for cleavage of the disulfide bonds located in the worm cores indicated by GPC analysis. This reductive degradation pathway may enable the use of these chemically degradable nanoparticles in biomedical applications, such as drug delivery systems and responsive biomaterials. PMID:27228898

  6. Polystyrene-poly(ethylene oxide) diblock copolymer: the effect of polystyrene and spreading concentration at the air/water interface.

    PubMed

    Glagola, Cameron P; Miceli, Lia M; Milchak, Marissa A; Halle, Emily H; Logan, Jennifer L

    2012-03-20

    Polystyrene-block-poly(ethylene oxide) (PS-PEO) is an amphiphilic diblock copolymer that undergoes microphase separation when spread at the air/water interface, forming nanosized domains. In this study, we investigate the impact of PS by examining a series of PS-PEO samples containing constant PEO (~17,000 g·mol(-1)) and variable PS (from 3600 to 200,000 g·mol(-1)) through isothermal characterization and atomic force microscopy (AFM). The polymers separated into two categories: predominantly hydrophobic and predominantly hydrophilic with a weight percent of PEO of ~20% providing the boundary between the two. AFM results indicated that predominantly hydrophilic PS-PEO forms dots while more hydrophobic samples yield a mixture of dots and spaghetti with continent-like structures appearing at ~7% PEO or less. These structures reflect a blend of polymer spreading, entanglement, and vitrification as the solvent evaporates. Changing the spreading concentration provides insight into this process with higher concentrations representing earlier kinetic stages and lower concentrations demonstrating later ones. Comparison of isothermal results and AFM analysis shows how polymer behavior at the air/water interface correlates with the observed nanostructures. Understanding the impact of polymer composition and spreading concentration is significant in leading to greater control over the nanostructures obtained through PS-PEO self-assembly and their eventual application as polymer templates. PMID:22339480

  7. Selective area epitaxy of ultra-high density InGaN quantum dots by diblock copolymer lithography

    PubMed Central

    2011-01-01

    Highly uniform InGaN-based quantum dots (QDs) grown on a nanopatterned dielectric layer defined by self-assembled diblock copolymer were performed by metal-organic chemical vapor deposition. The cylindrical-shaped nanopatterns were created on SiNx layers deposited on a GaN template, which provided the nanopatterning for the epitaxy of ultra-high density QD with uniform size and distribution. Scanning electron microscopy and atomic force microscopy measurements were conducted to investigate the QDs morphology. The InGaN/GaN QDs with density up to 8 × 1010 cm-2 are realized, which represents ultra-high dot density for highly uniform and well-controlled, nitride-based QDs, with QD diameter of approximately 22-25 nm. The photoluminescence (PL) studies indicated the importance of NH3 annealing and GaN spacer layer growth for improving the PL intensity of the SiNx-treated GaN surface, to achieve high optical-quality QDs applicable for photonics devices. PMID:21711862

  8. A New Level of Hierarchical Structure Control by Use of Supramolecular Self-assembled Dendronized Block Copolymers

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mezzenga, Raffaele; Li, Chaoxu; Schluter, Dieter; Zhang, Afang

    2009-03-01

    Block copolymers in which microphase segregation can be combined with supramolecular attachment of side chains to one block, constitute very appealing systems to design hierarchically self-assembled macromolecular materials. Self-organization of these systems is achieved at two length scales: that of the side chains (˜10^0nm) and that of the block copolymers (˜10^1-10^2nm). Because of the linear nature of the hosting block, only lamellar organization is typically observed at small length scales. Here we demonstrate that by replacing the linear polymer block with a dendronized polymer capable of participating in supramolecular interactions, one additional degree of freedom (the generation of the dendronized polymer) is introduced to engineer the self-assembly into unprecedented hierarchically ordered bulk structures. Not only this allows controlling beyond current possibilities the structures at the smaller length scale, with the introduction for example, of new columnar rectangular, hexagonal and tetragonal phases, but it may also lead to new functional template materials with increased 3D topological complexity for advanced technologies. References: C. Li, D.A. Schl"uter, A.Zhang, R. Mezzenga, Advanced Materials, in press.

  9. Diblock copolymers with tunable pH transitions for gene delivery

    PubMed Central

    Manganiello, M.J.; Cheng, C.; Convertine, A.J.; Bryers, J.D.; Stayton, P.S.

    2012-01-01

    A series of diblock copolymers containing an endosomal-releasing segment composed of diethylaminoethyl methacrylate (DEAEMA) and butyl methacrylate (BMA) were synthesized via reversible addition-fragmentation chain transfer (RAFT) polymerization. The materials were designed to condense plasmid DNA (pDNA) through electrostatic interactions with a cationic poly(N,N-dimethylaminoethyl methacrylate) (DMAEMA) first block. The pDMAEMA was employed as a macro chain transfer agent (macroCTA) for the synthesis of a series in which the relative feed ratios of DEAEMA and BMA were systematically varied from 20% to 70% BMA. The resultant diblock copolymers exhibited low polydispersity (PDI ≤ 1.06) with similar molecular weights (Mn = 19.3 – 23.1 kDa). Dynamic light scattering (DLS) measurements in combination with 1H-NMR D2O studies demonstrated that the free copolymers assemble into core-shell micelles at physiological pH. Reduction of the solution pH to values representative of endosomal/lysosomal compartments induced an increase in the net cationic charge of the core through protonation of the DEAEMA residues. This protonation promotes micelle destabilization and exposure of the hydrophobic BMA residues that destabilize biological membranes. The pH value at which this micelle-to-unimer transition occurred was dependent on the hydrophobic content of the copolymer, with higher BMA-containing copolymer compositions exhibiting pH-induced transitions to the membrane-destabilizing state at successively lower pH values. The ability of the diblock copolymers to deliver pDNA was subsequently investigated using a GFP expression vector in two monocyte cell lines. High levels of DNA transfection were observed for the copolymer compositions exhibiting the sharpest pH transitions and membrane destabilizing activities, demonstrating the importance of tuning the endosomal-releasing segment composition. PMID:22169826

  10. Investigation of Universal Behavior in Symmetric Diblock Copolymer Melts

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Medapuram, Pavani

    Coarse-grained theories of dense polymer liquids such as block copolymer melts predict a universal dependence of equilibrium properties on a few dimensionless parameters. For symmetric diblock copolymer melts, such theories predict a universal dependence on only chieN and N¯, where chie is an effective interaction parameter, N is the degree of polymerization, and N¯ is a measure of overlap. This thesis focuses on testing the universal behavior hypothesis by comparing results for various properties obtained from different coarse-grained simulation models to each other. Specifically, results from pairs of simulations of different models that have been designed to have matched values of N¯ are compared over a range of values of chiN. The use of vastly different simulation models allows us to cover a vast range of chi eN ≃ 200 - 8000 that includes most of the experimentally relevant range. Properties studied here include collective and single-chain correlations in the disordered phase, block and chain radii of gyration in the disordered phase, the value of chieN at the order-disorder transition (ODT), the free energy per chain, the latent heat of transition, the layer spacing, the composition profile, and compression modulus in the ordered phase. All results strongly support the universal scaling hypothesis, even for rather short chains, confirming that it is indeed possible to give an accurate universal description of simulation models that differ in many details. The underlying universality becomes apparent, however, only if data are analyzed using an adequate estimate of chie, which we obtained by fitting the structure factor S( q) in the disordered state to predictions of the recently developed renormalized one-loop (ROL) theory. The ROL theory is shown to provide an excellent description of the dependence of S(q on chain length and thermodynamic conditions for all models, even for very short chains, if we allow for the existence of a nonlinear dependence of

  11. Guided self-assembly of block-copolymer for CMOS technology: a comparative study between grapho-epitaxy and surface chemical modification

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Oria, Lorea; Ruiz de Luzuriaga, Alaitz; Chevalier, Xavier; Alduncin, Juan A.; Mecerreyes, David; Tiron, Raluca; Gaugiran, Stephanie; Perez-Murano, Francesc

    2011-04-01

    Recent progress in Block Copolymer lithography has shown that guided self-assembly is a viable alternative for pushing forward the resolution limits of optical lithography. The main two self assembly methods considered so far have been the surface chemical modification, which is based on the chemical modification of a brush grafted to the silicon, and the grapho-epitaxy, which is based on creating topographic patterns on the surface. We have tested these two approaches for the 22 nm node and beyond CMOS technology, using PS-PMMA block copolymers synthesized by RAFT (Reversible Addition-Fragmentation Chain Transfer) polymerization.

  12. Self-assembled filomicelles prepared from polylactide/poly(ethylene glycol) block copolymers for anticancer drug delivery.

    PubMed

    Jelonek, Katarzyna; Li, Suming; Wu, Xiaohan; Kasperczyk, Janusz; Marcinkowski, Andrzej

    2015-05-15

    Bioresorbable filomicelles present many advantageous as drug delivery systems e.g., long circulation time and high loading efficiency. The aim of this study was to develop polylactide/poly(ethylene glycol) (PLA/PEG) filomicelles for drug delivery applications. A series of PLA/PEG diblock copolymers were synthesized using non-toxic initiator, and characterized by means of NMR and GPC. Analysis of morphology of micelles determined by TEM revealed that apart from the weight fraction also the molar mass of PEG and the stereochemistry of PLA block must be considered for tailoring micellar structures. The CMC was found to be dependent on the length and structure of the hydrophobic block. It was observed that the drug loading properties could be improved by selection of appropriate copolymer and encapsulation method. Slower release of paclitaxel was observed for mPEG5000 initiated copolymers than mPEG2000 initiated copolymers. Moreover, the influence of the length of hydrophobic block and its stereoisomeric form on drug release rate was evidenced. Therefore, PLA/PEG filomicelles with good stability, high drug loading capacity and sustained drug release appear most attractive for drug delivery applications. PMID:25796125

  13. Strong stretching theory for diblock copolymers in thin films under application of electric fields

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Harrach, Michael F.; Heckmann, Marianne; Drossel, Barbara

    2012-07-01

    We investigate the microphases of asymmetric AB diblock copolymers confined to thin films in the strong segregation limit under the application of electric fields. We evaluate the free energy of a given set of possible phases and present phase diagrams for diblock copolymers with a cylindrical bulk phase in dependence of the film thickness and the attraction between the confining walls and the A or B monomers. This is done for different field strengths and volume fractions. We find that with increasing field strength structures show a preference for alignment with the field. The alignment is stronger when the permittivity of the minority monomer is larger than that of the majority monomer. Depending on the strength of the wall potential and the film thickness, the walls can become completely wetted by the minority monomer.

  14. Strong stretching theory for diblock copolymers in thin films under application of electric fields.

    PubMed

    Harrach, Michael F; Heckmann, Marianne; Drossel, Barbara

    2012-07-28

    We investigate the microphases of asymmetric AB diblock copolymers confined to thin films in the strong segregation limit under the application of electric fields. We evaluate the free energy of a given set of possible phases and present phase diagrams for diblock copolymers with a cylindrical bulk phase in dependence of the film thickness and the attraction between the confining walls and the A or B monomers. This is done for different field strengths and volume fractions. We find that with increasing field strength structures show a preference for alignment with the field. The alignment is stronger when the permittivity of the minority monomer is larger than that of the majority monomer. Depending on the strength of the wall potential and the film thickness, the walls can become completely wetted by the minority monomer. PMID:22852656

  15. Mechanisms for plasma etching of RRAM SiO2 with diblock copolymer selectivity

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ge, Jie; Yang, Yi; Li, Xiao-Ning; Ren, Tianling

    2014-07-01

    To minimize the critical dimension of resistive switching random access memory (RRAM), good anisotropy and selectivity with diblock copolymer are required for silicon dioxide etching. Inductively coupled plasma (ICP) etcher using CHF3/H2 mixture is used for effective etching of SiO2. In this paper, a commercial software CFD-ACE+ was used to simulate reactor scale and feature scale model of SiO2, diblock copolymer and Pt. Etch properties of SiO2 at different chamber conditions were discussed. It was found that etch rate increased at the expense of selectivity as ICP power increased, which was the opposite trend for pressure. Selectivity and anisotropy are achieved at neutral to ion flux ratio 100:1. Moreover, the appropriate overetch time for SiO2 layer to Pt layer was discussed.

  16. Microelectrode Arrays and the Use of PEG-Functionalized Diblock Copolymer Coatings

    PubMed Central

    Uppal, Sakshi; Graaf, Matthew D.; Moeller, Kevin D.

    2014-01-01

    PEG-modified diblock copolymer surfaces have been examined for their compatibility with microelectrode array based analytical methods. The use of PEG-modified polymer surfaces on the arrays was initially problematic because the redox couples used in the experiments were adsorbed by the polymer. This led the current measured by cyclic voltammetry for the redox couple to be unstable and increase with time. However, two key findings allow the experiments to be successful. First, after multiple cyclic voltammograms the current associated with the redox couple does stabilize so that a good baseline current can be established. Second, the rate at which the current stabilizes is consistent every time a particular coated array is used. Hence, multiple analytical experiments can be conducted on an array coated with a PEG-modified diblock copolymer and the data obtained is comparable as long as the data for each experiment is collected at a consistent time point. PMID:25587425

  17. Influence of Variations in Liquid-Crystalline Content upon the Self-Assembly Behavior of Siloxane-Based Block Copolymers

    SciTech Connect

    Verploegen,E.; Zhang, T.; Murlo, N.; Hammond, P.

    2008-01-01

    A series of well-defined smectic side chain liquid-crystalline (LC) block copolymers with a low glass transition (Tg) siloxane block has been synthesized via anionic polymerization; these systems consist of a glassy polystyrene block and a unique low glass transition temperature LC block based on poly(vinylmethylsiloxane) to which six different LCs have been synthesized and attached. The synthesis techniques used provide systematic control over covalent LC side chain content, allowing for a range of morphologies to be obtained from a single block copolymer backbone during a one-step LC attachment reaction. Variations in the LC structure and content significantly affect the morphology of the LC mesophase, allowing the smectic-to-isotropic transition temperature to be tuned from room temperature up to 150 C. There are two key driving forces in the self-assembly behavior of these materials that are significantly affected by the LC content. The first is the segmental interaction parameter (?) between the blocks, which is a function of the amount of LC attached to the siloxane block. The attachment percent of the LCs to the siloxane block determines the packing density, which affects the stability of the LC mesophase and its interactions with the inter-material dividing surface. The self-assembled morphologies are characterized as a function of LC content and the mechanisms for the observed behavior are detailed. Additional insights into the interactions between the LC and block copolymer mesophases are gained by investigating the morphologies in response to mechanical deformation. The elastic modulus of this system can be tailored over several orders of magnitude by controlling the LC content, and the thermo-mechanical behavior is also highly dependent. The ability to precisely control the degree of LC functionalization enables the custom design and tailoring of material properties for specific applications such as electro-mechanical, damping, and mechano

  18. Considerations in binding diblock copolymers on hydrophilic alginate beads for providing an immunoprotective membrane

    PubMed Central

    Spasojevic, Milica; Bhujbal, Swapnil; Paredes, Genaro; de Haan, Bart J; Schouten, Arend J; de Vos, Paul

    2014-01-01

    Alginate-based microcapsules are being proposed for treatment of many types of diseases. A major obstacle however in the successes is that these capsules are having large lab-to-lab variations. To make the process more reproducible, we propose to cover the surface of alginate capsules with diblock polymers that can form polymer brushes. In the present study, we describe the stepwise considerations for successful application of diblock copolymer of polyethylene glycol (PEG) and poly-l-lysine (PLL) on the surface of alginate beads. Special procedures had to be designed as alginate beads are hydrophilic and most protocols are designed for hydrophobic biomaterials. The successful attachment of diblock copolymer and the presence of PEG blocks on the surface of the capsules were studied by fluorescence microscopy. Longer time periods, that is, 30–60 min, are required to achieve saturation of the surface. The block lengths influenced the strength of the capsules. Shorter PLL blocks resulted in less stable capsules. Adequate permeability of the capsules was achieved with poly(ethylene glycol)-block-poly(l-lysine hydrochloride) (PEG454-b-PLL100) diblock copolymers. The capsules were a barrier for immunoglobulin G. The PEG454-b-PLL100 capsules have similar mechanical properties as PLL capsules. Minor immune activation of nuclear factor κB in THP-1 monocytes was observed with both PLL and PEG454-b-PLL100 capsules prepared from purified alginate. Our results show that we can successfully apply block copolymers on the surface of hydrophilic alginate beads without interfering with the physicochemical properties. PMID:23853069

  19. Dynamics and order-disorder transitions in bidisperse diblock copolymer blends

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wang, Yueqiang; Li, Xuan; Tang, Ping; Yang, Yuliang

    2011-03-01

    We employ the dynamic extension of self-consistent field theory (DSCFT) to study dynamics and order-disorder transitions (ODT) in AB diblock copolymer binary mixtures of two different monodisperse chain lengths by imitating the dynamic storage modulus G‧ corresponding to any given morphology in the oscillatory shear measurements. The different polydispersity index (PDI) is introduced by binary blending AB diblock copolymers with variations in chain lengths and chain number fractions. The simulation results show that the increase of polydispersity in the minority or symmetric block introduces a decrease in the segregation strength at the ODT, ( χN) ODT, whereas the increase of polydispersity in the majority block results in a decrease, then increase and final decrease again in ( χN) ODT. To the best of our knowledge, our DSCFT simulations, for the first time, predict an increase in ( χN) ODT with the PDI in the majority block, which produces the experimental results. The simulations by previous SCFT, which generally speaking, is capable of describing equilibrium morphologies, however, contradict the experimental data. The polydispersity acquired by properly tuning the chain lengths and number fractions of binary diblock copolymer blends should be a convenient and efficient way to control the microphase separation strength at the ODT.

  20. Grain Rotation in Ion-Complexed Symmetric Diblock Copolymer Thin Films under an Electric Field

    SciTech Connect

    Wang,J.; Leiston-Belanger, J.; Sievert, J.; Russell, T.

    2006-01-01

    In symmetric polystyrene-block-poly(methyl methacrylate) (PS-b-PMMA) diblock copolymer thin films, lithium-PMMA complexes were formed with the addition of lithium chloride (LiCl), significantly increasing both {chi} and dielectric constant. These led to a transition in the kinetic pathway of the orientation of lamellar microdomains under an applied electric field from a disruption and re-formation of the microdomains to a grain rotation mediated by movement of defects. By controlling the number of lithium-PMMA complexes, the microdomain alignment is possibly regulated in PS-b-PMMA copolymer thin films.

  1. Self-assembly of block copolymers on topographically patterned polymeric substrates

    DOEpatents

    Russell, Thomas P.; Park, Soojin; Lee, Dong Hyun; Xu, Ting

    2016-05-10

    Highly-ordered block copolymer films are prepared by a method that includes forming a polymeric replica of a topographically patterned crystalline surface, forming a block copolymer film on the topographically patterned surface of the polymeric replica, and annealing the block copolymer film. The resulting structures can be used in a variety of different applications, including the fabrication of high density data storage media. The ability to use flexible polymers to form the polymeric replica facilitates industrial-scale processes utilizing the highly-ordered block copolymer films.

  2. Assembly of diblock copolymer grafted nanoparticles in a homopolymer blend matrix

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Estridge, Cara; Jayaraman, Arthi

    2014-03-01

    Hybrid materials comprised of nanoscale fillers embedded in a polymer matrix, also terms polymer nanocomposites, are used in many applications, such as photovoltaics, photonics, automobile parts, where their macroscopic properties are governed by the nanocomposite morphology. The structure and composite morphology is controlled by the interactions of the nanoscale fillers and the polymer matrix. In this talk we show using molecular simulations that functionalization of the nanoparticle surface with AB diblock copolymer grafts is a way to tune the interactions between the grafted particle and the A and B homopolymer blend matrix. Specifically, our work demonstrates that by tailoring the copolymer composition and the copolymer grafting density one can tune the location of the copolymer grafted particles in the matrix, (e.g. within a domain versus interface of two domains). Additionally, in the case where the grafted particles locate themselves at the interface between the two domains, the interfacial tension is reduced below that possible with bare ungrafted particles at the interface.

  3. Directed self-assembly of high-chi block copolymer for nano fabrication of bit patterned media via solvent annealing.

    PubMed

    Xiong, Shisheng; Chapuis, Yves-Andre; Wan, Lei; Gao, He; Li, Xiao; Ruiz, Ricardo; Nealey, Paul F

    2016-10-14

    We report the formation of nanoimprint master templates that can be used for the fabrication of bit patterned media (BPM). The template was formed by directed self-assembly, with solvent annealing, of a symmetric ABA triblock copolymer to form perpendicularly oriented lamellae on chemical patterns. We used a high-χ block copolymer, poly(2-vinyl pyridine)-block-polystyrene-block-poly(2-vinyl pyridine) to achieve smaller feature sizes than are possible with polystyrene-block-poly(methyl methacrylate). The work shows that triblock copolymers can provide a large processing window in terms of pitch commensurability. Using block-selective infiltration (atomic layer deposition with sequential long soaking/purge cycles), an alumina composite with high etch resistance was specifically incorporated into the polar and hydrophilic P2VP domains. Subsequently, the surface pattern was successfully transferred into underlying Si substrates by etching with a fluorine-containing plasma to create a nanoimprint master. The line/space pattern of the nanoimprint master met the BPM fabrication requirement of defectivity <10(-3). For demonstration purposes, the nanoimprint master was used to imprint a replica pattern of photoresist on a quartz wafer. PMID:27606926

  4. Self-Assembly-Assisted Biomolecule-Enriched Surface and High Selectivity Performance of Simple Solution-Coatable Biomimicking Brush Copolymers.

    PubMed

    Kwon, Kyungho; Kim, Changsub; Lee, Jongchan; Kim, Heesoo; Ree, Moonhor

    2016-03-14

    Poly(oxy(11-(biotinyl)undecylthiomethyl)ethylene-co-oxy(11-phosphoryl-cholineundecylthiomethyl)ethylene)s (PECH-BTmPCn: m = 0-100 mol % biotin (BT)-containing bristle; n = 100-0 mol % phosphorylcholine (PC)-containing bristle) were newly synthesized. All polymers exhibited excellent solution processability. They favorably self-assembled horizontal multibilayer structures in thin films with BT- and PC-enriched surfaces, which were driven by the lateral ordering of the fully extended upright bristles and the partial interdigitation between the BT and PC end groups of the bristles. Both hydrophilicity and water sorption of the films increased with the PC content. The PECH-BT100 films revealed remarkably distinctive sensitivity, selectivity, and adsorption ability for avidin against other proteins. Such remarkable performance was further significantly enhanced on the PECH-BTmPCn films in which PC moieties were incorporated to the BT-rich surface; in particular, the PECH-BT75PC25 films demonstrated the highest performance. Overall, the self-assembly brush copolymers of this study are very suitable for use in the high performance detection, adsorption, and separation of proteins and receptors, including avidin, which can reveal high affinity and selectivity to BT moiety. PMID:26809808

  5. Self-assembled incorporation of modulated block copolymer nanostructures in phase-change memory for switching power reduction.

    PubMed

    Park, Woon Ik; You, Byoung Kuk; Mun, Beom Ho; Seo, Hyeon Kook; Lee, Jeong Yong; Hosaka, Sumio; Yin, You; Ross, C A; Lee, Keon Jae; Jung, Yeon Sik

    2013-03-26

    Phase change memory (PCM), which exploits the phase change behavior of chalcogenide materials, affords tremendous advantages over conventional solid-state memory due to its nonvolatility, high speed, and scalability. However, high power consumption of PCM poses a critical challenge and has been the most significant obstacle to its widespread commercialization. Here, we present a novel approach based on the self-assembly of a block copolymer (BCP) to form a thin nanostructured SiOx layer that locally blocks the contact between a heater electrode and a phase change material. The writing current is decreased 5-fold (corresponding to a power reduction by 1/20) as the occupying area fraction of SiOx nanostructures is increased from a fill factor of 9.1% to 63.6%. Simulation results theoretically explain the current reduction mechanism by localized switching of BCP-blocked phase change materials. PMID:23451771

  6. Development of a novel endosomolytic diblock copolymer for siRNA delivery

    PubMed Central

    Convertine, Anthony J.; Benoit, Danielle S.W.; Duvall, Craig L.; Hoffman, Allan S.; Stayton, Patrick S.

    2011-01-01

    The gene knockdown activity of small interfering RNA (siRNA) has led to their use as target validation tools and as potential therapeutics for a variety of diseases. The delivery of these double-stranded RNA macromolecules has proven to be challenging, however, and in many cases, is a barrier to their deployment. Here we report the development of a new diblock copolymer family that was designed to enhance the systemic and intracellular delivery of siRNA. These diblock copolymers were synthesized using the controlled reversible addition fragmentation chain transfer polymerization (RAFT) method and are composed of a positively-charged block of dimethylaminoethyl methacrylate (DMAEMA) to mediate siRNA condensation, and a second endosomal-releasing block composed of DMAEMA and propylacrylic acid (PAA) in roughly equimolar ratios, together with butyl methacylate (BMA). A related series of diblock compositions were characterized, with the cationic block kept constant, and with the ratio of DMAEMA and PAA to BMA varied. These carriers became sharply hemolytic at endosomal pH regimes, with increasing hemolytic activity seen as the percentage of BMA in the second block was systematically increased. The diblock copolymers condensed siRNA into 80–250 nm particles with slightly positive Zeta potentials. SiRNA-mediated knockdown of a model protein, namely glyceraldehyde 3-phosphate dehydrogenase (GAPDH), in HeLa cells generally followed the hemolytic activity trends, with the most hydrophobic second block (highest BMA content) exhibiting the best knockdown. This pH-responsive carrier designed to mediate endosomal release shows significant promise for the intracellular delivery of siRNA. PMID:18973780

  7. Development of a novel endosomolytic diblock copolymer for siRNA delivery.

    PubMed

    Convertine, Anthony J; Benoit, Danielle S W; Duvall, Craig L; Hoffman, Allan S; Stayton, Patrick S

    2009-02-10

    The gene knockdown activity of small interfering RNA (siRNA) has led to their use as target validation tools and as potential therapeutics for a variety of diseases. The delivery of these double-stranded RNA macromolecules has proven to be challenging, however, and in many cases, is a barrier to their deployment. Here we report the development of a new diblock copolymer family that was designed to enhance the systemic and intracellular delivery of siRNA. These diblock copolymers were synthesized using the controlled reversible addition fragmentation chain transfer polymerization (RAFT) method and are composed of a positively-charged block of dimethylaminoethyl methacrylate (DMAEMA) to mediate siRNA condensation, and a second endosomal-releasing block composed of DMAEMA and propylacrylic acid (PAA) in roughly equimolar ratios, together with butyl methacylate (BMA). A related series of diblock compositions were characterized, with the cationic block kept constant, and with the ratio of DMAEMA and PAA to BMA varied. These carriers became sharply hemolytic at endosomal pH regimes, with increasing hemolytic activity seen as the percentage of BMA in the second block was systematically increased. The diblock copolymers condensed siRNA into 80-250 nm particles with slightly positive Zeta potentials. SiRNA-mediated knockdown of a model protein, namely glyceraldehyde 3-phosphate dehydrogenase (GAPDH), in HeLa cells generally followed the hemolytic activity trends, with the most hydrophobic second block (highest BMA content) exhibiting the best knockdown. This pH-responsive carrier designed to mediate endosomal release shows significant promise for the intracellular delivery of siRNA. PMID:18973780

  8. Controlled Ordering of Long-range Perpendicular Lamellae by Block Copolymer Self-assembly

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ryu, Du Yeol; Kim, Kyunginn; Park, Sungmin; Kim, Yeongsik; Yonsei Univ Team

    We introduce a simple approach to fabricating highly stable, perpendicularly oriented lamellae through the self-assembly of high-molecular-weight polystyrene-b-poly(methyl methacrylate) (PS-b-PMMA). The desired morphology was achieved over a narrow annealing period (5 10 min) under solvent vapor, since the SVA process need to terminate immediately before the saturated BCP films begin to dewet the substrate. This narrow processing period impeded practical applications to continuous industrial processes. A controlled SVA process at a selected temperature gap was found to show the excellent long-term stability, at which highly ordered line-arrays of perpendicularly oriented lamellae were confined to topographic line patterns.

  9. Distinct Adsorption Configurations and Self-Assembly Characteristics of Fibrinogen on Chemically Uniform and Alternating Surfaces including Block Copolymer Nanodomains

    PubMed Central

    2015-01-01

    Understanding protein–surface interactions is crucial to solid-state biomedical applications whose functionality is directly correlated with the precise control of the adsorption configuration, surface packing, loading density, and bioactivity of protein molecules. Because of the small dimensions and highly amphiphilic nature of proteins, investigation of protein adsorption performed on nanoscale topology can shed light on subprotein-level interaction preferences. In this study, we examine the adsorption and assembly behavior of a highly elongated protein, fibrinogen, on both chemically uniform (as-is and buffered HF-treated SiO2/Si, and homopolymers of polystyrene and poly(methyl methacrylate)) and varying (polystyrene-block-poly(methyl methacrylate)) surfaces. By focusing on high-resolution imaging of individual protein molecules whose configurations are influenced by protein–surface rather than protein–protein interactions, fibrinogen conformations characteristic to each surface are identified and statistically analyzed for structural similarities/differences in key protein domains. By exploiting block copolymer nanodomains whose repeat distance is commensurate with the length of the individual protein, we determine that fibrinogen exhibits a more neutral tendency for interaction with both polystyrene and poly(methyl methacrylate) blocks relative to the case of common globular proteins. Factors affecting fibrinogen–polymer interactions are discussed in terms of hydrophobic and electrostatic interactions. In addition, assembly and packing attributes of fibrinogen are determined at different loading conditions. Primary orientations of fibrinogen and its rearrangements with respect to the underlying diblock nanodomains associated with different surface coverage are explained by pertinent protein interaction mechanisms. On the basis of two-dimensional stacking behavior, a protein assembly model is proposed for the formation of an extended fibrinogen network

  10. Aqueous worm gels can be reconstituted from freeze-dried diblock copolymer powder.

    PubMed

    Kocik, M K; Mykhaylyk, O O; Armes, S P

    2014-06-14

    Worm-like diblock copolymer nanoparticles comprising poly(glycerol monomethacrylate) (PGMA) as a stabilizer block and poly(2-hydroxypropyl methacrylate) (PHPMA) as a core-forming block were readily synthesized at 10% w/w solids via aqueous dispersion polymerization at 70 °C using Reversible Addition-Fragmentation chain Transfer (RAFT) chemistry. On cooling to 20 °C, soft transparent free-standing gels are formed due to multiple inter-worm interactions. These aqueous PGMA-PHPMA diblock copolymer worms were freeze-dried, then redispersed in water with cooling to 3-5 °C before warming up to 20 °C; this protocol ensures molecular dissolution of the copolymer chains, which aids formation of a transparent aqueous gel. Rheology, SAXS and TEM studies confirm that such reconstituted gels comprise formed PGMA-PHPMA copolymer worms and they possess essentially the same physical properties determined for the original worm gels prior to freeze-drying. Such worm gel reconstitution is expected to be highly beneficial in the context of various biomedical applications, since it enables worm gels to be readily prepared using a wide range of cell growth media as the continuous aqueous phase. PMID:24733440

  11. Nano- and microstructures of magnetic field-guided maghemite nanoparticles in diblock copolymer films.

    PubMed

    Yao, Yuan; Metwalli, Ezzeldin; Niedermeier, Martin A; Opel, Matthias; Lin, Chen; Ning, Jing; Perlich, Jan; Roth, Stephan V; Müller-Buschbaum, Peter

    2014-04-01

    The control over the alignment of nanoparticles within a block copolymer matrix was investigated for different external magnetic fields with respect to producing well-aligned, highly oriented metal-oxide-polymer nanopatterns. Hybrid films were prepared by solution casting under a range of external magnetic fields. The nano- and microstructure of maghemite nanoparticles within poly(styrene-b-methyl methacrylate) diblock copolymer films as a function of the nanoparticle concentration was studied using optical microscopy, atomic force microscopy, scanning electron microscopy, and grazing incidence small-angle X-ray scattering. Because of a polystyrene (PS) coating, the nanoparticles are incorporated in the PS domains of the diblock copolymer morphology. At higher nanoparticle concentrations, nanoparticle aggregates perturb the block copolymer structure and accumulate at the films surface into wire-shaped stripes. These wire-shaped nanoparticle aggregates form mainly because of the competition between nanoparticle-polymer friction and magnetic dipolar interaction. The magnetic behavior of the hybrid films was probed at different temperatures for two orthogonal directions (with the line-shaped particle aggregates parallel and perpendicular to the magnetic field). The hybrid film systems show superparamagnetic behavior and remarkable shape anisotropy that render them interesting for magnetic applications. PMID:24621173

  12. Controlled Solution Self-Assembly of a Midblock-Sulfonated Pentablock Copolymer

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mineart, Kenneth; Gradzielski, Michael; Spontak, Richard

    The solution self-assembly of midblock-sulfonated block ionomers (SBIs) has been shown to translate to their bulk, solution-cast morphology, which can further impact their function in applications such as desalination, fuel cell, and photovoltaic membranes. Previous studies have identified that increasing the degree of sulfonation (DOS) in SBIs dispersed in a nonpolar solvent results in the growth of micellar aggregates due to increased interfacial energy. However, these works have not attempted to control the assembly at a given DOS by tuning the solvent environment. The current study probes the tunability of SBI aggregation behavior using a nonpolar/polar solvent mixture varying in composition. A combination of light scattering (SLS and DLS) and small angle X-ray scattering (SAXS) independently confirm that SBI micelles grow larger, both in core and corona, as the solvent environment becomes more nonpolar. The increases in both core and corona size will be explained using polymer thermodynamics and further supported through presentation of small angle neutron scattering (SANS) data. In addition, these results will be compared with SBI self-assembly in a single solvent, which is expected to distribute between the micelle cores and bulk solvent environment. We would like to acknowledge funding from NSF IRES (App #1065466) and MANN+HUMMEL GmbH.

  13. Response of Semifluorinated-Si Containing Diblock Co-polymers to Solvent Stimuli

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Shrestha, Umesh; Perahia, Dvora; Clarson, Stephen

    2010-03-01

    The response of semifluorinated diblock co-polymers to solvents has been studied by neutron reflectometry. Polytrifluoro propyl methyl siloxane -b- polystyrene (FSi-PS) with different volume fraction of the fluorinated block ranging from 0.03 to 0.5 were exposed to water and toluene as stimuli. FSi-PS segregated into layers with the air interface being fluorine rich. Upon exposure to water as stimuli, at small volume fractions of the FSi, no response was observed. Increasing the size of the FSi segments resulted in small interfacial rearrangements however no swelling was observed. The small interfacial changes are sufficient to affect the surface energy and adhesion of the diblocks as desired of a responsive interface. Changing the nature of the stimuli to toluene, which is a good solvent for polystyrene, the diblock co-polymer swelled almost immediately independent on the volume fraction, though the inherent layered structure was retained. The degree of fluorine that resides at the interface in this case depends on the volume fraction and the exposure time. Over all, the study has shown that internal segregation of the blocks and their distinct different affinities to the solvents provide the driving forces for their response.

  14. Microphase separation of short wormlike diblock copolymers with a finite interaction range.

    PubMed

    Jiang, Ying; Zhang, Xinghua; Miao, Bing; Yan, Dadong; Chen, Jeff Z Y

    2016-02-17

    We investigate several structural properties of low-molecular weight AB diblock copolymer melts, focusing on a number of features that substantially deviate from those of high-molecular weight copolymer melts. The study is based on the wormlike chain formalism aided by random phase approximation and self-consistent field theory. We examine the effects that stemmed from both the finite molecular weight and the finite interaction range between unlike AB monomers. The latter yields profound effects on systems consisting of short wormlike block copolymers. The noticeable shift of the order-disorder transition point is discussed. Attention is also paid to the strong-segregation regime, where low molecular weight polymers are subject to finite stretchability. PMID:26822622

  15. New amphiphilic diblock copolymers: surfactant properties and solubilization in their micelles.

    PubMed

    Garnier, Sébastien; Laschewsky, André

    2006-04-25

    Several series of amphiphilic diblock copolymers are investigated as macrosurfactants in comparison to reference low-molar-mass and polymeric surfactants. The various copolymers share poly(butyl acrylate) as a common hydrophobic block but are distinguished by six different hydrophilic blocks (one anionic, one cationic, and four nonionic hydrophilic blocks) with various compositions. Dynamic light scattering experiments indicate the presence of micelles over the whole concentration range from 10(-4) to 10 g x L(-1). Accordingly, the critical micellization concentrations are very low. Still, the surface tension of aqueous solutions of block copolymers decreases slowly but continuously with increasing concentration, without exhibiting a plateau. The longer the hydrophobic block, the shorter the hydrophilic block, and the less hydrophilic the monomer of the hydrophilic block is, the lower the surface tension is. However, the effects are small, and the copolymers reduce the surface tension much less than standard low-molar-mass surfactants. Also, the copolymers foam much less and even act as anti-foaming agents in classical foaming systems composed of standard surfactants. The copolymers stabilize O/W emulsions made of methyl palmitate as equally well as standard surfactants but are less efficient for O/W emulsions made of tributyrine. However, the copolymer micelles exhibit a high solubilization power for hydrophobic dyes, probably at their core-corona interface, in dependence on the initial geometry of the micelles and the composition of the block copolymers. Whereas micelles of copolymers with strongly hydrophilic blocks are stable upon solubilization, solubilization-induced micellar growth is observed for copolymers with moderately hydrophilic blocks. PMID:16618143

  16. Synthesis, self-assembly, and pH-responsive behavior of (photo-crosslinked) star amphiphilic triblock copolymer.

    PubMed

    Bian, Qingqing; Xiao, Yan; Zhou, Chen; Lang, Meidong

    2013-02-15

    Conventional polymeric micelles employed as drug carriers suffer from the drawback of disaggregation when diluted into body fluids, giving rise to premature release of drugs. In this work, cinnamate was chosen as a crosslinker to overcome this issue and regulate pH response. A series of photo-crosslinkable star amphiphilic triblock copolymers, star poly(ε-caprolactone)-b-poly(2-cinnamoyloxyethyl methacrylate)-b-poly(2-(dimethylamino)ethyl methacrylate) (SPCL-b-PCEMA-b-PDMAEMA), were prepared by combination of stepwise reversible addition-fragment chain transfer (RAFT) polymerization and carbodiimide-mediated coupling reaction. These star amphiphilic copolymers could self-assemble into core-shell-corona micelles. Facile photo crosslinking of the micelles was carried out via UV irradiation. The crosslinked micelles showed an improved stability determined by critical micelle concentration (CMC). The degree of photo crosslinking was easily regulated by tuning UV irradiation time, and the hydrodynamic diameters (D(h)) decreased with increasing degree of photo crosslinking. The pH responses of micelles were investigated by dynamic light scattering (DLS), indicating pH-induced swelling-shrinking behavior. For photo-crosslinked micelle, its capability of swelling-shrinking weakened with increasing crosslinking degree, suggesting that pH response was controlled by crosslinking density. This novel photo-crosslinked micelle system with adjustable pH response was expected to have potential as drug carriers for controlled release. PMID:23127872

  17. Challenges in Fabrication of Mesoporous Carbon Films with Ordered Cylindrical Pores via Phenolic Oligomer Self-Assembly with Triblock Copolymers

    SciTech Connect

    Song, Lingyan; Feng, Dan; Fredin, Nathaniel J.; Yager, Kevin G.; Jones, Ronald L.; Wu, Quanyan; Zhao, Dongyuan; Vogt, Bryan D.

    2010-06-22

    Mesoporous phenol formaldehyde (PF) polymer resin and carbon films are prepared by a solution self-assembly of PF oligomers with amphiphilic triblock copolymers. After thermopolymerization of the PF to cross-link the network, the films show an ordered morphology as determined by X-ray diffraction and grazing incidence small-angle X-ray scattering (GISAXS). Our results show that the amphiphilic triblock copolymer template greatly influences the stability of the final porous mesostructures. The pyrolysis of the two-dimensional (2-D) hexagonal films with p6mm symmetry templated by Pluronic F127 yields a disordered porous structure following the template removal. Conversely, films templated by Pluronic P123 can exhibit well-ordered cylindrical pores after the template removal, but the solution composition range to yield ordered cylindrical mesopores is significantly reduced (nearly 70%) for thin films in comparison to bulk powders. We propose two dominant difficulties in fabricating well-ordered cylindrical mesopores in films: first, the stress from contraction during the pyrolysis can lead to a collapse of the mesostructure if the wall thickness is insufficient, and second, the surface wetting behavior in thin films leads to a small compositional range.

  18. Synthesis and Melt Self-Assembly of PS-PMMA-PLA Triblock Bottlebrush Copolymers

    SciTech Connect

    Bolton, Justin; Rzayev, Javid

    2014-07-03

    Polystyrene–poly(methyl methacrylate)–polylactide (PS–PMMA–PLA) triblock bottlebrush copolymer with nearly symmetric volume fractions was synthesized by grafting from a symmetrical triblock backbone and the resulting melt was characterized by scanning electron microscopy and small-angle X-ray scattering. The copolymer backbone was prepared by sequential reversible addition–fragmentation chain transfer (RAFT) polymerization of solketal methacrylate (SM), 2-(bromoisobutyryl)ethyl methacrylate (BIEM), and 5-(trimethylsilyl)-4-pentyn-1-ol methacrylate (TPYM). PMMA branches were grafted by atom transfer radical polymerization from the poly(BIEM) segment, PS branches were grafted by RAFT polymerization from the poly(TPYM) block after installment of the RAFT agents, while PLA side chains were grafted from the deprotected poly(SM) block. The resulting copolymer was found to exhibit a lamellae morphology with a domain spacing of 79 nm. Differential scanning calorimetry analysis indicated that PMMA was preferentially mixing with PS while phase separating from PLA domains.

  19. Ordered porous mesostructured materials from nanoparticle-block copolymer self-assembly

    SciTech Connect

    Warren, Scott; Wiesner, Ulrich; DiSalvo, Jr., Francis J

    2013-10-29

    The invention provides mesostructured materials and methods of preparing mesostructured materials including metal-rich mesostructured nanoparticle-block copolymer hybrids, porous metal-nonmetal nanocomposite mesostructures, and ordered metal mesostructures with uniform pores. The nanoparticles can be metal, metal alloy, metal mixture, intermetallic, metal-carbon, metal-ceramic, semiconductor-carbon, semiconductor-ceramic, insulator-carbon or insulator-ceramic nanoparticles, or combinations thereof. A block copolymer/ligand-stabilized nanoparticle solution is cast, resulting in the formation of a metal-rich (or semiconductor-rich or insulator-rich) mesostructured nanoparticle-block copolymer hybrid. The hybrid is heated to an elevated temperature, resulting in the formation of an ordered porous nanocomposite mesostructure. A nonmetal component (e.g., carbon or ceramic) is then removed to produce an ordered mesostructure with ordered and large uniform pores.

  20. Study of polystyrene-poly(ethylene oxide) diblock copolymer monolayers as barriers to protein adsorption

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Jogikalmath, Gangadhar

    Protein adsorption resistant surfaces find use in many biomedical applications, such as catheters, dialysis devices and biosensors that involve blood contacting surfaces. To ensure long-term functioning of a device in an environment containing protein, there is a need to produce homogeneous surfaces that are resistant to protein adsorption. A polymer brush covered surface, produced by either physical adsorption or chemical grafting of hydrophilic polymers to surfaces, is one of the approaches used in creating such surfaces. High grafting densities needed to make an effective barrier are usually not realized in chemical grafting/adsorption from solution, due to self-exclusion of surface grafted molecules. In this dissertation polymer brush surfaces formed by chemically grafted PEO molecules and transferred monolayers of PS-b-PEO diblock copolymers are investigated using atomic force microscopy (AFM), surface plasmon resonance (SPR) and surface pressure measurement techniques. An AFM adhesion mapping technique was used to evaluate the surface heterogeneity of chemically modified PEO and transferred diblock copolymer monolayer surfaces. The behavior of PS-b-PEO molecules at the air-water interface was studied using Langmuir trough. The stability of transferred diblock copolymer monolayers was investigated using AFM. Using SPR, protein adsorption to the diblock copolymer layers was investigated as a function of protein size (using HSA and ferritin) as a function of grafting density of PEO in the monolayer. It was seen that a lower density of the PS-b-PEO monolayer was sufficient to prevent ferritin adsorption (larger protein) while a higher density brush layer was required to achieve complete prevention of HSA adsorption to the surface. The effect of mobility of the polymer brush layer on protein adsorption prevention was analyzed using SPR and surface pressure measurements. It was seen that the copolymer monolayer (at the air-buffer interface) rearranged itself to

  1. Adsorption and aqueous lubricating properties of charged and neutral amphiphilic diblock copolymers at a compliant, hydrophobic interface.

    PubMed

    Røn, Troels; Javakhishvili, Irakli; Jankova, Katja; Hvilsted, Søren; Lee, Seunghwan

    2013-06-25

    We have investigated the adsorption and lubricating properties of neutral and charged amphiphilic diblock copolymers at a hydrophobic polydimethylsiloxane (PDMS) interface in an aqueous environment. The diblock copolymers consist of a hydrophilic block of either neutral poly(ethylene glycol) (PEG) or negatively charged poly(acrylic acid) (PAA) and of a hydrophobic block of polystyrene (PS) or poly(2-methoxyethyl acrylate) (PMEA), thus generating PEG-b-X or PAA-b-X, where X block is either PS or PMEA. The molecular weight ratios were roughly 1:1 with each block ca. 5 kDa. Comparing the neutral PEG and charged PAA buoyant blocks with all other conditions identical, the former showed superior adsorption onto nonpolar, hydrophobic PDMS surfaces from a neutral aqueous solution. PEG-based copolymers showed substantial adsorption for both PS and PMEA as the anchoring block, whereas PAA-based copolymers showed effective adsorption only when PMEA was employed as the anchoring block. For PAA-b-PS, the poor adsorption properties are chiefly attributed to micellization due to the high interfacial tension between the PS core and water. The poor lubricating properties of PAA-b-PS diblock copolymer for a PDMS-PDMS sliding contact was well correlated with the poor adsorption properties. PAA-b-PMEA copolymers, despite their sizable amount of adsorbed mass, showed insignificant lubricating effects. When the charges of the PAA-b-PMEA diblock copolymers were screened by either adding NaCl to the aqueous solution or by lowering the pH, both the adsorption and lubricity improved. We ascribe the poor adsorption and inferior aqueous lubricating properties of the PAA-based diblock copolymers compared to their PEG-based counterparts mainly to the electrostatic repulsion between charged PAA blocks, hindering the facile formation of the lubricating layer under cyclic tribological stress at the sliding PDMS-PDMS interface. PMID:23725290

  2. pH-Sensitive micelles self-assembled from amphiphilic copolymer brush for delivery of poorly water-soluble drugs.

    PubMed

    Yang, You Qiang; Zheng, Ling Shan; Guo, Xin Dong; Qian, Yu; Zhang, Li Juan

    2011-01-10

    A novel pH-sensitive amphiphilic copolymer brush poly(methyl methacrylate-co-methacrylic acid)-b-poly(poly(ethylene glycol) methyl ether monomethacrylate) [P(MMA-co-MAA)-b-PPEGMA] was defined and synthesized by atom transfer radical polymerization (ATRP) technique. The molecular structures and characteristics of this copolymer and its precursors were confirmed by (1)H NMR, FT-IR, and GPC. The CMC of P(MMA-co-MAA)-b-PPEGMA in aqueous medium was determined to be 1-4 mg/L. This copolymer could self-assemble into micelles in aqueous solution with an average size of 120-250 nm determined by DLS. The morphologies of the micelles were found to be spherical by SEM and TEM. Ibuprofen (IBU), a poorly water-soluble drug, was selected as the model drug and wrapped into the core of micelles via dialysis method. Drug entrapment efficiency reached to 90%. The in vitro release behavior of IBU from these micelles was pH-dependent. The cumulative release percent of IBU was less than 20% of the initial drug content in simulated gastric fluid (SGF, pH 1.2) over 12 h, but 90% was released in simulated intestinal fluid (SIF, pH 7.4) within 6 h. The release profiles showed that the P(MMA-co-MAA)-b-PPEGMA micelles could inhibit the premature burst drug release under the intestinal conditions. All the results indicate that the P(MMA-co-MAA)-b-PPEGMA micelle may be a potential oral drug delivery carrier for poorly water-soluble drugs. PMID:21121600

  3. Self-assembled polymersomes formed by symmetric, asymmetric and side-chain-tethered coil-rod-coil triblock copolymers.

    PubMed

    Lin, Yung-Lung; Chang, Hung-Yu; Sheng, Yu-Jane; Tsao, Heng-Kwong

    2014-03-21

    Self-assembly behaviors of coil-rod-coil copolymers in selective solvents are explored by dissipative particle dynamics. The morphological phase diagram as a function of rod length and coil length shows five distinct types of aggregates, including spherical micelles, worm-like micelles, disk-like aggregates, honeycomb structures, and polymersomes. Small polymersomes are formed at rather poor alignment associated with monolayered rod domains. Some of the rods are even lying perpendicular to the radial direction. For symmetric copolymers (CmRxCm), the condition of vesicle formation is restricted to short coil and rod lengths. To favor the formation of CRC-polymersomes, two architecture modifications are adopted. One is to increase the coil length asymmetrically to be CmRxCn, where n > m. The other one is to tether a T-block onto the middle of the rod-block as Cm(RxTy)Cm copolymers. For those CRC-polymersomes, structural, transport, and mechanical properties of the vesicular membrane are determined, including membrane thickness, area density of coil blocks, order parameter, solvent permeability, frequency of flip-flop, membrane tension, and stretching and bending moduli. The influences of the coil length (n) and tethered block length (y) on membrane properties are examined. Finally, the mechanism of membrane fusion between CRC-polymersomes is investigated. The fusion process involves four stages and in the contact region the rods lying perpendicular to the radial direction of the polymersome play the key role. The encounter of two vesicles may result in a fused, hemifused, or non-fused polymersome. The final fate is determined by the competition between membrane tension and the steric barrier of the coil corona. The fusion outcome may change if the tension is altered by manipulating the lumen pressure. PMID:24651905

  4. New glycosylated conjugate copolymer N-acetyl-β-D-glucosaminyl-pluronic: Synthesis, self-assembly and biological assays.

    PubMed

    Frizon, Tiago Elias Allievi; Micheletto, Yasmine Miguel Serafini; Westrup, José Luiz; Wakabayashi, Priscila Sayoko Silva; Serafim, Francieli Rocha; Damiani, Adriani Paganini; Longaretti, Luiza Martins; de Andrade, Vanessa Moraes; Giacomelli, Fernando Carlos; Fort, Sébastien; Dal Bó, Alexandre Gonçalves

    2015-09-01

    This work describes the synthesis of a new glycosylated conjugate copolymer, GlcNAc-PEO75-PPO30-PEO75-GlcNAc (GlcNAc-PluronicF68-GlcNAc), using click chemistry from Pluronic(®) F68 and propargyl-2-N-acetamido-2-deoxy-β-D-glucopyranoside. Micelles were prepared by the self-assembly of GlcNAc-PluronicF68-GlcNAc in phosphate-buffered solution. The critical micelle concentration was determined by fluorescence spectroscopy, and the value was found to be equal to 5.8mgmL(-1). The Gibbs free energy (ΔG) of micellization is negative, indicating that the organization of amphiphiles is governed by the hydrophobic effects in an entropy-driven process. The scattering characterization of GlcNAc-PluronicF68-GlcNAc micelles showed a hydrodynamic radius of 8.7nm and negative zeta potential (-21.0±0.9mV). The TEM image evidences the spherical shape of the objects self-assemble into highly regular micelles having a mean diameter of 10nm. The SAXS profile confirmed the spherical shape of the assemblies comprising a swollen PPO core (Rcore=2.25nm) stabilized by PEO chains following Gaussian statistics. The results of the comet assay showed that the GlcNAc-PluronicF68-GlcNAc micelles were not genotoxic, and the cell viability test was higher than 97% for all concentrations, demonstrating that GlcNAc-PluronicF68-GlcNAc is not toxic. PMID:26123853

  5. Influence of polydispersity on the isotropic-nematic boundary in melt of semiflexible diblock copolymer

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Aliev, M. A.

    2015-12-01

    The analytical expressions have been obtained to describe the dependence of spinodal curve at which isotropic state of polydisperse melt of semiflexible diblock copolymer becomes unstable with respect to formation of nematic state on the polydispersity indices of the blocks, parameters of anisotropic interactions, and flexibility of blocks. The flexibility of blocks is taken into account within discrete worm-like chain model, lengths of blocks are assumed to be distributed by the Schulz-Zimm distribution. It is shown that increase of degree of polydispersity of blocks yields the increase of nematic spinodal temperature.

  6. Diblock Polyelectrolytic Copolymers Containing Cationic Iron and Cobalt Sandwich Complexes: Living ROMP Synthesis and Redox Properties.

    PubMed

    Gu, Haibin; Ciganda, Roberto; Hernandez, Ricardo; Castel, Patricia; Zhao, Pengxiang; Ruiz, Jaime; Astruc, Didier

    2016-04-01

    Diblock metallopolymer polyelectrolytes containing the two redox-robust cationic sandwich units [CoCp'Cp](+) and [FeCp'(η(6)-C6 Me6)](+) (Cp = η(5)-C5 H5; Cp' = η(5)-C5H4-) as hexafluorophosphate ([PF6](-)) salts are synthesized by ring-opening metathesis polymerization using Grubbs' third generation catalyst. Their electrochemical properties show full chemical and electrochemical reversibilities allowing fine determination of the copolymer molecular weight using Bard-Anson's electrochemical method by cyclic voltammetry. PMID:26841204

  7. Patterned Diblock Co-Polymer Thin Films as Templates for Advanced Anisotropic Metal Nanostructures.

    PubMed

    Roth, Stephan V; Santoro, Gonzalo; Risch, Johannes F H; Yu, Shun; Schwartzkopf, Matthias; Boese, Torsten; Döhrmann, Ralph; Zhang, Peng; Besner, Bastian; Bremer, Philipp; Rukser, Dieter; Rübhausen, Michael A; Terrill, Nick J; Staniec, Paul A; Yao, Yuan; Metwalli, Ezzeldin; Müller-Buschbaum, Peter

    2015-06-17

    We demonstrate glancing-angle deposition of gold on a nanostructured diblock copolymer, namely polystyrene-block-poly(methyl methacrylate) thin film. Exploiting the selective wetting of gold on the polystyrene block, we are able to fabricate directional hierarchical structures. We prove the asymmetric growth of the gold nanoparticles and are able to extract the different growth laws by in situ scattering methods. The optical anisotropy of these hierarchical hybrid materials is further probed by angular resolved spectroscopic methods. This approach enables us to tailor functional hierarchical layers in nanodevices, such as nanoantennae arrays, organic photovoltaics, and sensor electronics. PMID:25635697

  8. Diblock copolymers in bulk and in thin films: Morphology and kinetics

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Podariu, Iulia Anca

    In this thesis I numerically study the phase diagram and kinetics of a diblock copolymers melt in both bulk and thin films in the strong segregation limit. I probe various values of the volume fraction, f, of the shorter block of the copolymer chains, spanning the bulk phase diagram for the diblock copolymers from a spherical body-centered cubic (BCC) phase to a hexagonally packed cylindrical (HCP) phase, to a bicontinuous gyroid phase (G), to finally a lamellar phase(L). Finite size and wetting properties of the substrate modify the film morphology by shifting the effective value of the composition in the film. For neutral substrates, the film morphology is shifted toward a smaller relative composition f, while for substrates which prefer the longer blocks of the copolymers, the film morphology is shifted toward a large value of f. A dramatic change in thin film morphology takes place for a small change in external parameters if one chooses the composition f to be at the borderline between two different bulk phases. The next question addressed is that of the control over the thin film structure in the case of a symmetric diblock copolymer films with a thickness smaller than the bulk equilibrium period. These films are cast on either flat or corrugated substrates. The results show that the formation of uniformly sized lateral domains that appear randomly on a flat surface can be controlled by using topographically patterned substrates. Control of lateral pattern fails if the distance between steps is smaller than the lamellar wavelength or the lateral size of the corrugation is larger than the bulk lamellar wavelength. For thin block copolymer (BCP) films on a homogeneous substrate, a fast domain growth exponent has recently been observed in experiments. I have carried out numerical simulations of ordering and domain growth in a two-dimensional system of BCP melts. The model calculations explicitly include viscous, hydrodynamic flow and provide a scaling

  9. Photocatalytic Nanostructuring of Graphene Guided by Block Copolymer Self-Assembly.

    PubMed

    Wang, Zhongli; Li, Tao; Schulte, Lars; Almdal, Kristoffer; Ndoni, Sokol

    2016-04-01

    Nanostructured graphene exhibits many intriguing properties. For example, precisely controlled graphene nanomeshes can be applied in electronic, photonic, or sensing devices. However, fabrication of nanopatterned graphene with periodic supperlattice remains a challenge. In this work, periodic graphene nanomesh was fabricated by photocatalysis of single-layer graphene suspended on top of TiO2-covered nanopillars, which were produced by combining block copolymer nanolithography with atomic layer deposition. Graphene nanoribbons were also prepared by the same method applied to a line-forming block copolymer template. This mask-free and nonchemical/nonplasma route offers an exciting platform for nanopatterning of graphene and other UV-transparent materials for device engineering. PMID:26999508

  10. Slow dynamics in transient polyelectrolyte hydrogels formed by self-assembly of block copolymers

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Charbonneau, Céline; Chassenieux, Christophe; Colombani, Olivier; Nicolai, Taco

    2013-06-01

    Transient polyelectrolyte hydrogels were formed by self-assembly of triblock copolyelectrolytes with a central hydrophilic block, poly(acrylic acid) (PAA), and two hydrophobic end blocks, poly(n-butyl acrylate50%-stat-acrylic acid50%) [P(nBA50%-stat-AA50%)]. The relaxation of the concentration fluctuations was investigated by dynamic light scattering as a function of the concentration, the pH, the temperature, and the ionic strength. A relatively fast mode was observed at all polymer concentrations caused by cooperative diffusion of the polymers. Above the critical percolation concentration a second slow relaxation mode was observed caused by a linear displacement of small heterogeneities in the network with constant velocity. The relative amplitude of the slow mode was determined by the strength of the electrostatic repulsion. The velocity of the displacement in the transient network is shown to be directly correlated to the terminal relaxation time of the shear modulus and has the same Arrhenius temperature dependence. Both the velocity of the displacement and the mechanical relaxation strongly slow down with decreasing degree of ionization below 0.7 and increasing ionic strength above 0.5 M. A ballistic relaxation process has been reported earlier for colloidal gels, and the present study shows that it can also occur in polymeric networks.

  11. Tailoring the amphiphilicity and self-assembly of thermosensitive polymers: end-capped PEG-PNIPAAM block copolymers.

    PubMed

    Quan, Zhilong; Zhu, Kaizheng; Knudsen, Kenneth D; Nyström, Bo; Lund, Reidar

    2013-10-30

    In this work we report on the synthesis and self-assembly of a thermo-sensitive block copolymer system of n-octadecyl-poly(ethylene glycol)-block-poly(N-isopropylacrylamide), abbreviated as C18-PEGn-b-PNIPAAMm. We present a facile synthetic strategy for obtaining highly tunable thermo-responsive block copolymers starting from commercial PEG-based surfactants (Brij®) or a C18 precursor and conjugating with PNIPAAM via an Atom Transfer Radical Polymerization (ATRP) protocol. The self-assembly and detailed nanostructure were thoroughly investigated in aqueous solutions using both small-angle X-ray and neutron scattering (SAXS/SANS) combined with turbidity measurements. The results show that the system forms rather well defined classical micellar structures at room temperature that first undergo a collapse, followed by inter-micellar aggregation upon increasing the temperature. For the pure C18-PNIPAAM system, however, rather ill-defined micelles were formed, demonstrating the important role of PEG in regulating the nanostructure and the stability. It is found that the PEG content can be used as a convenient parameter to regulate the thermoresponse, i.e., the onset of collapse and aggregation. A detailed theoretical modeling analysis of the SAXS/SANS data shows that the system forms typical core-shell micellar structures. Interestingly, no evidence of back folding, where PEG allows PNIPAAM to form part of the C18 core, can be found upon crossing the lower critical solution temperature (LCST). This might be attributed to the entropic penalty of folding a polymer chain and/or enthalpic incompatibility between the blocks. The results show that by appropriately varying the balance between the hydrophobic and hydrophilic content, i.e. the amphiphilicity, tunable thermoresponsive micellar structures can be effectively designed. By means of SAXS/SANS we are able to follow the response on the nanoscale. These results thus give considerable insight into thermo

  12. Liquid-liquid interfaces of semifluorinated alkane diblock copolymers with water, alkanes, and perfluorinated alkanes.

    SciTech Connect

    Perahia, Dvora, Dr.; Pierce, Flint; Tsige, Mesfin; Grest, Gary Stephen, Dr.

    2008-08-01

    The liquid-liquid interface between semifluorinated alkane diblock copolymers of the form F3C(CF2)n-1-(CH2)m-1CH3 and water, protonated alkanes, and perfluorinated alkanes are studied by fully atomistic molecular dynamics simulations. A modified version of the OPLS-AA (Optimized Parameter for Liquid Simulation All-Atom) force field of Jorgensen et al. has been used to study the interfacial behavior of semifluorinated diblocks. Aqueous interfaces are found to be sharp, with correspondingly large values of the interfacial tension. Due to the reduced hydrophobicity of the protonated block compared to the fluorinated block, hydrogen enhancement is observed at the interface. Water dipoles in the interfacial region are found to be oriented nearly parallel to the liquid-liquid interface. A number of protonated alkanes and perfluorinated alkanes are found to be mutually miscible with the semifluorinated diblocks. For these liquids, interdiffusion follows the expected Fickian behavior, and concentration-dependent diffusivities are determined.

  13. Optoelectronic properties and charge transfer in donor-acceptor all-conjugated diblock copolymers.

    SciTech Connect

    Botiz, I.; Schaller, R. D.; Verduzco, R.; Darling, S. B.

    2011-05-12

    All-conjugated block copolymers, which can self-assemble into well-ordered morphologies, provide exciting opportunities to rationally design and control the nanoscale organization of electron-donor and electron-acceptor moieties in optoelectronic active layers. Here we report on the steady-state and time-resolved optical characterization of block copolymer films and solutions containing poly(3-hexylthiophene) as the donor block and poly(9,9-dioctylfluorene) with and without copolymerization with benzothiadiazole as the acceptor block. Transient absorption measurements suggest rapid charge transfer occurs in both systems, with higher efficiency observed in the latter composition. These results indicate that this class of materials has promise in preparing highly ordered bulk heterojunction all-polymer organic photovoltaic devices.

  14. Chain length dependence of non-surface activity and micellization behavior of cationic amphiphilic diblock copolymers.

    PubMed

    Ghosh, Arjun; Yusa, Shin-ichi; Matsuoka, Hideki; Saruwatari, Yoshiyuki

    2014-04-01

    The cationic and anionic amphiphilic diblock copolymers with a critical chain length and block ratio do not adsorb at the air/water interface but form micelles in solution, which is a phenomenon called "non-surface activity". This is primarily due to the high charge density of the block copolymer, which creates a strong image charge effect at the air/water interface preventing adsorption. Very stable micelle formation in bulk solution could also play an important role in the non-surface activity. To further confirm these unique properties, we studied the adsorption and micellization behavior of cationic amphiphilic diblock copolymers of poly(n-butyl acrylate)-b-poly(3-(methacryloyloxy)ethyl)trimethylammonium chloride) (PBA-b-PDMC) with different molecular weights of hydrophobic blocks but with the same ionic block length. These block copolymers were successfully prepared via consecutive reversible addition-fragmentation chain transfer (RAFT) polymerization. The block copolymer with the shortest hydrophobic block length was surface-active; the solution showed surface tension reduction and foam formation. However, above the critical block ratio, the surface tension of the solution did not decrease with increasing polymer concentration, and there was no foam formation, indicating lack of surface activity. After addition of 0.1 M NaCl, stable foam formation and slight reduction of surface tension were observed, which is reminiscent of the electrostatic nature of the non-surface activity. Fluorescence and dynamic and static light scattering measurements showed that the copolymer with the shortest hydrophobic block did not form micelles, while the block copolymers formed spherical micelles having radii of 25-30 nm. These observations indicate that micelle formation is also important for non-surface activity. Upon addition of NaCl, cmc did not decrease but rather increased as observed for non-surface-active block copolymers previously studied. The micelles formed were

  15. Electrodeposition of mesoporous manganese dioxide supercapacitor electrodes through self-assembled triblock copolymer templates

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Xue, Tong; Xu, Cai-Ling; Zhao, Dan-Dan; Li, Xiao-Hong; Li, Hu-Lin

    Mesoporous manganese dioxide supercapcitor electrode materials were electrochemically deposited onto silicon substrates coated with Pt using triblock copolymer species (Pluronic P123 and F127) as the structure-directing agents. Deposited electrodes of manganese dioxide film were physically characterized by X-ray diffraction (XRD), scanning electron microscopy (SEM) and transmission electron microscopy (TEM), and were electrochemically characterized by cyclic voltammetry (CV) in 0.5 M Na 2SO 4 electrolyte. Maximum specific capacitance (SC) values of 449 F g -1 was obtained at a scan rate of 10 mV s -1 from F127 templated mesoporous MnO 2.

  16. Self-assembly in aqueous solution of amphiphilic graft copolymers from oxidized carboxymethylcellulose.

    PubMed

    Bordallo, Eduardo; Rieumont, Jacques; Tiera, Marcio José; Gómez, Manuel; Lazzari, Massimo

    2015-06-25

    A series of oxidized carboxymethylcellulose-graft-poly(ethylene glycol)-dodecylamine (OCMC-g-PEG-DDA) was prepared by using an appositely prepared PEG with terminal amino groups and different amounts of DDA. The nanoaggregates formed in aqueous solution were characterized by surface tension measurements, fluorescence spectroscopy, dynamic light scattering (DLS) and scanning electron microscopies (SEM and TEM). The micelles showed narrow hydrodynamic size distributions and diameters varying from 163 to 193nm depending on the ratio of DDA to PEG chains. The DDA content in the graft copolymers also affected the core-shell interfacial compactness. PMID:25839792

  17. Novel synthesis of cellulose-based diblock copolymer of poly(hydroxyethyl methacrylate) by mechanochemical reaction.

    PubMed

    Ohura, Takeshi; Tsutaki, Yusaku; Sakaguchi, Masato

    2014-01-01

    The mechanical fracture of polymer produces polymeric free radical chain-ends, by which liner block copolymers have been synthesized. A diblock copolymer of microcrystalline cellulose (MCC) and poly 2-hydroxyethyl methacrylate (pHEMA) was produced by the mechanochemical polymerization under vacuum and room temperature. The fraction of pHEMA in MCC-block-pHEMA produced by the mechanochemical polymerization increased up to 21 mol% with increasing fracture time (~6 h). Then, the tacticities of HEMA sequences in MCC-block-pHEMA varied according to the reaction time. In the process of mechanochemical polymerization, cellulose could play the role of a radical polymerization initiator capable of controlling stereoregularity. PMID:24741340

  18. Self-assembled block copolymer micelles with silver-carbon nanotube hybrid fillers for high performance thermal conduction

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Choi, Jae Ryung; Yu, Seunggun; Jung, Haejong; Hwang, Sun Kak; Kim, Richard Hahnkee; Song, Giyoung; Cho, Sung Hwan; Bae, Insung; Hong, Soon Man; Koo, Chong Min; Park, Cheolmin

    2015-01-01

    The development of polymer-filled composites with an extremely high thermal conductivity (TC) that is competitive with conventional metals is in great demand due to their cost-effective process, light weight, and easy shape-forming capability. A novel polymer composite with a large thermal conductivity of 153 W m-1 K-1 was prepared based on self-assembled block copolymer micelles containing two different fillers of micron-sized silver particles and multi-walled carbon nanotubes. Simple mechanical mixing of the components followed by conventional thermal compression at a low processing temperature of 160 °C produced a novel composite with both structural and thermal stability that is durable for high temperature operation up to 150 °C as well as multiple heating and cooling cycles of ΔT = 100 °C. The high performance in thermal conduction of our composite was mainly attributed to the facile deformation of Ag particles during the mixing in a viscous thermoplastic medium, combined with networked carbon nanotubes uniformly dispersed in the nanoscale structural matrix of block copolymer micelles responsible for its high temperature mechanical stability. Furthermore, micro-imprinting on the composite allowed for topographically periodic surface micropatterns, which offers broader suitability for numerous micro-opto-electronic systems.The development of polymer-filled composites with an extremely high thermal conductivity (TC) that is competitive with conventional metals is in great demand due to their cost-effective process, light weight, and easy shape-forming capability. A novel polymer composite with a large thermal conductivity of 153 W m-1 K-1 was prepared based on self-assembled block copolymer micelles containing two different fillers of micron-sized silver particles and multi-walled carbon nanotubes. Simple mechanical mixing of the components followed by conventional thermal compression at a low processing temperature of 160 °C produced a novel composite

  19. Self-assembly of high-resolutions PS-b-PMMA block-copolymers: processes capabilities and integration on 300mm track

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Chevalier, X.; Nicolet, C.; Tiron, R.; Gharbi, A.; Chamiot-Maitral, G.; Jullian, K.; Pimenta-Barros, P.; Argoud, M.; Peyre, J.-L.; Van Spaandonk, R.; Fleury, G.; Hadziioannou, G.; Navarro, C.

    2014-03-01

    Careful control and reproducibility of BCP's synthesis are mandatory parameters to push-down PS-b-PMMA block-copolymer systems toward its lowest dimensions for microelectronic applications. The self-assembly process optimization of different high-resolution cylindrical PS-b-PMMA block-copolymers (i.e. L0 period below 25 nm) is studied to highlight processes-variations as regard to more classical PS-b-PMMA systems while the characterizations of bulk materials provide deeper insights on the parameters addressing the self-assembly of such materials. The integration of a high-resolution BCP on 300 mm track is then studied to check the capabilities of such materials in terms of lithographic applications. CD uniformity measurements in contact hole shrink approach, as well as the transfer of the BCP mask into typical industrial under-layer stacks leading to aggressive features, show that these materials exhibit promising potentials for advanced lithographic nodes.

  20. Self-assembly of well-defined polyacrylamide-polystyrene copolymer on fibrillar clays via ultrasonic-assisted surface-initiated atom transfer radical polymerization.

    PubMed

    Liu, Peng; Wang, Tingmei; Su, Zhixing

    2006-06-01

    Well-defined polyacrylamide-polystyrene copolymers were grafted from the fibrillar clay, attapulgite, by a four-step self-assembly process: (i) the gamma-aminopropyltriethoxyl silane was self-assembled onto the surfaces of the attapulgite; (ii) the surface amino groups were amidated with bromoacetylbromide; (iii) the bromo-acetamide modified attapulgite was used as macro-initiator for the surface-initiated atom transfer radical polymerization of styrene with the catalyst of the complex of 1,10-phenanthroline and Cu(I)Br; (iv) the polystyrene grafted attapulgite was then used as macroinitiator for the polymerization of acrylamide. The two steps of the surface-initiated atom transfer radical polymerizations were all conducted under ultrasonic irradiation at room temperature. The product, polyacrylamide-polystyrene copolymers grafted attapulgite, had been characterized with elemental analysis, Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy, Thermogravimetric analysis (TGA), X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy, X-ray diffractometry, and transmission electron microscopy. PMID:17025071

  1. Process-directed self-assembly of multiblock copolymers: Solvent casting vs spray coating

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tang, Q.; Tang, J.; Müller, M.

    2016-07-01

    Using computer simulation of a soft, coarse-grained model and self-consistent field theory we investigate how collapsed, globular chain conformations in the initial stages of structure formation, which are produced by spray-coating, affect the single-chain structure and morphology of microphase-separated multiblock copolymers. Comparing spray-coated films with films that start from a disordered state of Gaussian chains, we observe that the collapsed molecular conformations in the initial stage give rise to (1) a smaller fraction of blocks that straddle domains (bridges), (2) a significant reduction of the molecular extension normal to the internal interfaces, and (3) a slightly larger lamellar domain spacing in the final morphology. The relaxation of molecular conformations towards equilibrium is very protracted for both processes - solvent casting and spray coating. These findings illustrate that the process conditions of the copolymer materials may significantly affect materials properties (such as mechanical properties) because the system does not reach thermal equilibrium on the relevant time scales.

  2. Controllable Heparin-Based Comb Copolymers and Their Self-assembled Nanoparticles for Gene Delivery.

    PubMed

    Nie, Jing-Jun; Zhao, Weiyi; Hu, Hao; Yu, Bingran; Xu, Fu-Jian

    2016-04-01

    Polysaccharide-based copolymers have attracted much attention due to their effective performances. Heparin, as a kind of polysaccharide with high negative charge densities, has attracted much attention in biomedical fields. In this work, we report a flexible way to adjust the solubility of heparin from water to oil via the introduction of tetrabutylammonium groups for further functionalization. A range of heparin-based comb copolymers with poly(poly(ethylene glycol) methyl ether methacrylate) (PPEGMEMA), poly(dimethylaminoethyl methacrylate) (PDMAEMA), or PPEGMEMA-b-PDMAEMA side chains were readily synthesized in a MeOH/dimethylsulfoxide mixture via atom-transfer radical polymerization. The heparin-based polymer nanoparticles involving cationic PDMAEMA were produced due to the electrostatic interaction between the negatively charged heparin backbone and PDMAEMA grafts. Then the pDNA condensation ability, cytotoxicity, and gene transfection efficiency of the nanoparticles were characterized in comparison with the reported gene vectors. The nanoparticles were proved to be effective gene vectors with low cytotoxicity and high transfection efficiency. This study demonstrates that by adjusting the solubility of heparin, polymer graft functionalization of heparin can be readily realized for wider applications. PMID:26947134

  3. Tartaric Acid-Assisted Self-Assembly of Hybrid Block Copolymer Composites

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Yao, Li; Lin, Ying; Watkins, James

    2014-03-01

    Enantiopure tartaric acid was used as an additive to increase the segregation strength of poly(ethylene oxide-block-tert-butyl acrylate) (PEO-b-PtBA) copolymers through strong, selective interactions with one of the polymer chain segments. Addition of tartaric acid to PEO-b-PtBA exhibiting cylindrical morphologies resulted in the formation of helical superstructures as observed by transmission electron microscopy. It was also found that this small acid additive can also enable phase-selective ultra-high loading of nanoparticles (NPs) into target domains of the block copolymer composites. The loading of tartaric acid can increase enthalpically favorable interactions between the nanoparticle ligands and the host domain and mitigate entropic penalties associated with NP incorporation into the target domain. A metal content of over 40 weight percent by mass of the resulting well ordered composites was achieved as measured by thermal gravimetric analysis in PEO-b-PtBA/tartaric acid/4-hydroxythiophenol functionalized Au NP hybrid system. Funding from Center for Hierarchical Manufacturing (CHM); Facility support from Materials Research Science and Engineering Center at UMass Amherst.

  4. Intermolecular interactions and solvent diffusion in ordered nanostructures formed by self-assembly of block copolymers

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gu, Zhiyong

    Hydrogels formed by Poloxamer poly(ethylene oxide)-poly(propylene oxide) (PEO-PPO) block copolymers find various pharmaceutical and biomedical applications. A variety of ordered structures can be exhibited by Poloxamer block copolymers in selective solvents such as water, for example, micellar cubic phase, hexagonal phase, lamellar phase, etc. We are interested in the thermodynamic and transport properties of water in such hydrogels that have an ordered (lyotropic liquid crystalline) structure. We have investigated the time evolution of water loss from Poloxamer gel films under a driving force of known water vapor pressure in the air in contact with the film. The experimental data on the drying process have been fitted to the diffusion equation for water in the film, under a boundary condition that includes the water concentration in the gel at infinite time; the water diffusion coefficient and other parameters have thus been obtained. The water chemical potential and osmotic pressure in the gel have been obtained from osmotic stress measurements. The osmotic pressure (force), together with data on the corresponding lyotropic liquid crystal spacing (distance) that we obtained from Small Angle X-Ray Scattering (SAXS) measurements, have been analyzed to provide information on the prevailing intermolecular (inter-assembly) forces in the gel. The forces in the gel reveal interactions that occur at two levels, that of the PEO coil and that of the PEO segment.

  5. Synergistic templated self-assembly of cellulose nanocrystals in thin block copolymer films

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Grolman, Danielle; Gilman, Jeffrey; Davis, Chelsea; Karim, Alamgir

    2015-03-01

    Nanofillers in thin polymer films offer unique advantage to potentially modify the film's thermal, optical, electrical and mechanical properties due to the high surface area to volume ratio and intrinsic property change at the nanoscale. Nanofilled polymer films have been shown to exhibit unusual film stability to dewetting with a nonmonotonic behavior with nanofiller loading, potentially arising from factors such as competitive phase behavior and filler aggregation, particularly in the high nanofiller concentration limit. In this regard, block copolymer films can act as ideal nanoscale structured templates to selectively sequester and organize nanofillers. In conjunction with incorporated cellulose nanocrystals (CNCs), we seek to understand how individual anisotropic nanofillers can provide synergistic reinforcement to inherently anisotropic nanostructured block copolymer films. A clear enhancement in the Young's Modulus was observed with increased CNC loading using strain-induced elastic buckling instability for mechanical measurements (SIEBIMM) for thin films. To this end, we examine the nanoscale to microscale morphology of the blend film through AFM, TEM and grazing incidence small-angle x-ray scattering (GISAXS), and CNC dispersion and percolation through high-intensity grazing incidence wide-angle x-ray scattering (GIWAXS) analysis.

  6. Prediction of solvent-induced morphological changes of polyelectrolyte diblock copolymer micelles.

    PubMed

    Li, Nan K; Fuss, William H; Tang, Lei; Gu, Renpeng; Chilkoti, Ashutosh; Zauscher, Stefan; Yingling, Yaroslava G

    2015-11-14

    Self-assembly processes of polyelectrolyte block copolymers are ubiquitous in industrial and biological processes; understanding their physical properties can also provide insights into the design of polyelectrolyte materials with novel and tailored properties. Here, we report systematic analysis on how the ionic strength of the solvent and the length of the polyelectrolyte block affect the self-assembly and morphology of the polyelectrolyte block copolymer materials by constructing a salt-dependent morphological phase diagram using an implicit solvent ionic strength (ISIS) method for dissipative particle dynamics (DPD) simulations. This diagram permits the determination of the conditions for the morphological transition into a specific shape, namely vesicles or lamellar aggregates, wormlike/cylindrical micelles, and spherical micelles. The scaling behavior for the size of spherical micelles is predicted, in terms of radius of gyration (R(g,m)) and thickness of corona (Hcorona), as a function of solvent ionic strength (c(s)) and polyelectrolyte length (NA), which are R(g,m) ∼ c(s)(-0.06)N(A)(0.54) and Hcorona ∼ c(s)(-0.11)N(A)(0.75). The simulation results were corroborated through AFM and static light scattering measurements on the example of the self-assembly of monodisperse, single-stranded DNA block-copolynucleotides (polyT50-b-F-dUTP). Overall, we were able to predict the salt-responsive morphology of polyelectrolyte materials in aqueous solution and show that a spherical-cylindrical-lamellar change in morphology can be obtained through an increase in solvent ionic strength or a decrease of polyelectrolyte length. PMID:26315065

  7. A self-consistent field study of diblock copolymer/charged particle system morphologies for nanofiltration membranes

    SciTech Connect

    Zhang, Bo; Ye, Xianggui; Edwards, Brian J.

    2013-12-28

    A combination of self-consistent field theory and density functional theory was used to examine the stable, 3-dimensional equilibrium morphologies formed by diblock copolymers with a tethered nanoparticle attached either between the two blocks or at the end of one of the blocks. Both neutral and interacting particles were examined, with and without favorable/unfavorable energetic potentials between the particles and the block segments. The phase diagrams of the various systems were constructed, allowing the identification of three types of ordered mesophases composed of lamellae, hexagonally packed cylinders, and spheroids. In particular, we examined the conditions under which the mesophases could be generated wherein the tethered particles were primarily located within the interface between the two blocks of the copolymer. Key factors influencing these properties were determined to be the particle position along the diblock chain, the interaction potentials of the blocks and particles, the block copolymer composition, and molecular weight of the copolymer.

  8. A self-consistent field study of diblock copolymer/charged particle system morphologies for nanofiltration membranes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zhang, Bo; Ye, Xianggui; Edwards, Brian J.

    2013-12-01

    A combination of self-consistent field theory and density functional theory was used to examine the stable, 3-dimensional equilibrium morphologies formed by diblock copolymers with a tethered nanoparticle attached either between the two blocks or at the end of one of the blocks. Both neutral and interacting particles were examined, with and without favorable/unfavorable energetic potentials between the particles and the block segments. The phase diagrams of the various systems were constructed, allowing the identification of three types of ordered mesophases composed of lamellae, hexagonally packed cylinders, and spheroids. In particular, we examined the conditions under which the mesophases could be generated wherein the tethered particles were primarily located within the interface between the two blocks of the copolymer. Key factors influencing these properties were determined to be the particle position along the diblock chain, the interaction potentials of the blocks and particles, the block copolymer composition, and molecular weight of the copolymer.

  9. Model photo-responsive elastomers based on the self-assembly of side group liquid crystal triblock copolymers (Presentation Recording)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kurji, Zuleikha; Kornfield, Julia A.; Kuzyk, Mark G.

    2015-10-01

    We report the synthesis of azobenzene-containing coil-liquid crystal-coil triblock copolymers that form uniform and highly reproducible elastomers by self-assembly. To serve as actuators to (non-invasively) steer a fiber optic, for example in deep brain stimulation, the polymers are designed to become monodomain "single liquid crystal" elastomers during the fiber-draw process and to have a large stress/strain response to stimulation with either light or heat. A fundamental scientific question that we seek to answer is how the interplay between the concentration of photoresponsive mesogens and the proximity to the nematic-isotropic transition governs the sensitivity of the material to stimuli. Specifically, a matched pair of polymers, one with ~5% azobenzene-containing side groups (~95% cyanobiphenyl side groups) and the other with 100% cyanobiphenyl side groups were synthesized from identical triblock pre-polymers (with polystyerene end blocks and 1,2-polybutadiene midblocks). These can be blended in various ratios to prepare a series of elastomers that are precisely matched in terms of the backbone length between physical crosslinks (because each polymer is derived from the same pre-polymer), while differing in % azobenzene side groups, allowing the effect of concentration of photoresponsive groups to be unambiguously determined.

  10. Nanostructured Silicon Photocathodes for Solar Water Splitting Patterned by the Self-Assembly of Lamellar Block Copolymers.

    PubMed

    Shen, Lang; He, Chunlin; Qiu, Jing; Lee, Sung-Min; Kalita, Abinasha; Cronin, Stephen B; Stoykovich, Mark P; Yoon, Jongseung

    2015-12-01

    We studied a type of nanostructured silicon photocathode for solar water splitting, where one-dimensionally periodic lamellar nanopatterns derived from the self-assembly of symmetric poly(styrene-block-methyl methacrylate) block copolymers were incorporated on the surface of single-crystalline silicon in configurations with and without a buried metallurgical junction. The resulting nanostructured silicon photocathodes with the characteristic lamellar morphology provided suppressed front-surface reflection and increased surface area, which collectively contributed to the enhanced photocatalytic performance in the hydrogen evolution reaction. The augmented light absorption in the nanostructured silicon directly translated to the increase of the saturation current density, while the onset potential decreased with the etching depth because of the increased levels of surface recombination. The pp(+)-silicon photocathodes, compared to the n(+)pp(+)-silicon with a buried solid-state junction, exhibited a more pronounced shift of the current density-potential curves upon the introduction of the nanostructured surface owing to the corresponding increase in the liquid/silicon junction area. Systematic studies on the morphology, optical properties, and photoelectrochemical characteristics of nanostructured silicon photocathodes, in conjunction with optical modeling based on the finite-difference time-domain method, provide quantitative description and optimal design rules of lamellar-patterned silicon photocathodes for solar water splitting. PMID:26575400

  11. Nanoscale neuroelectrode modification via sub-20 nm silicon nanowires through self-assembly of block copolymers.

    PubMed

    Mokarian-Tabari, Parvaneh; Vallejo-Giraldo, Catalina; Fernandez-Yague, Marc; Cummins, Cian; Morris, Michael A; Biggs, Manus J P

    2015-02-01

    Neuroprosthetic technologies for therapeutic neuromodulation have seen major advances in recent years but these advances have been impeded due to electrode failure or a temporal deterioration in the device recording or electrical stimulation potential. This deterioration is attributed to an intrinsic host tissue response, namely glial scarring or gliosis, which prevents the injured neurons from sprouting, drives neurite processes away from the neuroelectrode and increases signal impedance by increasing the distance between the electrode and its target neurons. To address this problem, there is a clinical need to reduce tissue encapsulation of the electrodes in situ and improve long-term neuroelectrode function. Nanotopographical modification has emerged as a potent methodology for the disruption of protein adsorption and cellular adhesion in vitro. This study investigates the use of block copolymer self-assembly technique for the generation of sub-20 nm nanowire features on silicon substrates. Critically, these nanostructures were observed to significantly reduce electrical impedance and increase conductivity. Human neuroblastoma SH-SY5Y cells cultured on nanowire substrates for up to 14 days were associated with enhanced focal adhesion reinforcement and a reduction in proliferation. We conclude that nanowire surface modulation may offer significant potential as an electrode functionalization strategy. PMID:25677116

  12. Reliable control of filament formation in resistive memories by self-assembled nanoinsulators derived from a block copolymer.

    PubMed

    You, Byoung Kuk; Park, Woon Ik; Kim, Jong Min; Park, Kwi-Il; Seo, Hyeon Kook; Lee, Jeong Yong; Jung, Yeon Sik; Lee, Keon Jae

    2014-09-23

    Resistive random access memory (ReRAM) is a promising candidate for future nonvolatile memories. Resistive switching in a metal-insulator-metal structure is generally assumed to be caused by the formation/rupture of nanoscale conductive filaments (CFs) under an applied electric field. The critical issue of ReRAM for practical memory applications, however, is insufficient repeatability of the operating voltage and resistance ratio. Here, we present an innovative approach to reliably and reproducibly control the CF growth in unipolar NiO resistive memory by exploiting uniform formation of insulating SiOx nanostructures from the self-assembly of a Si-containing block copolymer. In this way, the standard deviation (SD) of set and reset voltages was markedly reduced by 76.9% and 59.4%, respectively. The SD of high resistance state also decreased significantly, from 6.3 × 10(7) Ω to 5.4 × 10(4) Ω. Moreover, we report direct observations of localized metallic Ni CF formation and their controllable growth using electron microscopy and discuss electrothermal simulation results based on the finite element method supporting our analysis results. PMID:25192434

  13. Towards biomimetic scaffolds: anhydrous scaffold fabrication from biodegradable amine-reactive diblock copolymers.

    PubMed

    Hacker, Michael; Tessmar, Jörg; Neubauer, Markus; Blaimer, Andrea; Blunk, Torsten; Göpferich, Achim; Schulz, Michaela B

    2003-11-01

    The development of biomimetic materials and their processing into three-dimensional cell carrying scaffolds is one promising tissue engineering strategy to improve cell adhesion, growth and differentiation on polymeric constructs developing mature and viable tissue. This study was concerned with the fabrication of scaffolds made from amine-reactive diblock copolymers, N-succinimidyl tartrate monoamine poly(ethylene glycol)-block-poly(D,L-lactic acid), which are able to suppress unspecific protein adsorption and to covalently bind proteins or peptides. An appropriate technique for their processing had to be both anhydrous, to avoid hydrolysis of the active ester, and suitable for the generation of interconnected porous structures. Attempts to fabricate scaffolds utilizing hard paraffin microparticles as hexane-extractable porogens failed. Consequently, a technique was developed involving lipid microparticles, which served as biocompatible porogens on which the scaffold forming polymer was precipitated in the porogen extraction media (n-hexane). Porogen melting during the extraction and polymer precipitation step led to an interconnected network of pores. Suitable lipid mixtures and their melting points, extraction conditions (temperature and time) and a low-toxic polymer solvent system were determined for their use in processing diblock copolymers of different molecular weights (22 and 42 kDa) into highly porous off-the-shelf cell carriers ready for easy surface modification towards biomimetic scaffolds. Insulin was employed to demonstrate the principal of instant protein coupling to a prefabricated scaffold. PMID:12922156

  14. Numerical investigation of the contraction of neutral-charged diblock copolymer brushes in electric fields.

    PubMed

    Chen, Yuwei; Li, Haiming; Zhu, Yuejin; Tong, Chaohui

    2016-03-31

    Using self-consistent field theory (SCFT), the contraction of neutral-charged A-B diblock copolymer brushes in electric fields generated by opposite surface charges on two parallel electrodes has been numerically investigated. The diblock copolymer chains were grafted with the free end of the neutral block to one electrode and immersed in a salt-free solution sandwiched between the two electrodes. The numerical results reveal that the charged monomers, A-B joint segment and the tail exhibit bimodal distributions under external electric fields, which are absent for homopolymer polyelectrolyte brushes. The dependences of the relative populations and peak positions of the two modes on various parameters such as block ratio, grafting density, chain length and strength of the applied electric field were systematically examined and the underlining mechanisms were elucidated. It was found in this study that, if the total amount of surface charges on the grafting electrode is no more than that of the counter-ions in the system, overall charge neutrality is generally maintained inside the brushes when including the contribution of surface charges on the grafting electrode. In such a case, the counter-ions expelled from the brushes are highly enriched in the immediate vicinity of the second electrode and an approximate charge balance between these expelled counter-ions and the opposite surface charges on the second electrode is achieved. PMID:26912335

  15. Fluorine effects on morphology and surface energy of diblock copolymer thin films

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Shrestha, Umesh; Perahia, Dvora; Clarson, Stephen

    2015-03-01

    The interfacial composition and structure formed by the segregation between the incompatible blocks in a diblock copolymer thin film influence the stability and response of the film to external stimuli. Introduction of fluorine enhances the interfacial energy as well as chemical and thermal stability of the polymer film. Here we follow the interfacial structure and response of Si containing diblock co-polymer polytrifluoro propyl methyl siloxane-polystyrene (PTEPMS-PS) with the SiF fraction ranging from 0.03 to 0.5 in surface of the films as a function of temperature and solvent, using atomic force microscopy and contact angle measurement. We found that the tendency of the fluorine to migrate towards surface affects the surface energy while Si in backbone enhances the flexibility of the chains. Thin films prepared from selective good solvent for one of the blocks and good solvent for both blocks formed different structures compared to their melts. Correlation between morphology and volume fraction is dominant above the Tg of the polystyrene whereas below Tg limited effect is observed. NSF DMR 0907390.

  16. Congruent Lamellar-to-Disorder Phase Transitions in Diblock Copolymer-Homopolymer Ternary Blends

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hickey, Robert; Gillard, Timothy; Irwin, Matthew; Lodge, Timothy; Bates, Frank

    Symmetric ternary blends of AB diblock copolymers and the corresponding A and B homopolymers are predicted to be characterized by a multicritical Lifshitz point within mean-field theory. Previous studies have shown that fluctuations destroy the predicted Lifshitz point and lead to a bicontinuous microemulsion (B μE) channel, which separates the lamellar and 2-phase regions in the ternary phase prism. Here, we establish the existence of a line of congruent first-order lamellar-to-disorder transitions when appropriate amounts of poly(cyclohexylethylene) (C) and poly(ethylene) (E) homopolymers are mixed with the corresponding symmetric CE diblock copolymer. We present complimentary optical transmission, small-angle X-ray scattering, transmission electron microscopy (TEM), and rheological results obtained using two experimental protocols: (1) fixing the CE volume fraction and varying the C/E ratio, and (2) setting the C/E ratio at the condition of congruency and varying CE volume fraction from 0 to 1. These results establish a quantitative and facile method for identifying the detailed phase behavior in the vicinity of the B μE, and provide fresh insight into the nature of such mixtures near the nominal Lifshitz conditions. Surprisingly, well-ordered lamellae are revealed by TEM at compositions within 1% of the B μE channel, suggesting a remarkably close approach to the predicted, mean-field unbinding transition. Moreover, the width of the B μE narrows to about 1% under congruent conditions.

  17. Structure and Phase Behavior of Tapered Diblock Copolymers from Self-Consistent Field Theory

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Brown, Jonathan R.; Sides, Scott W.; Hall, Lisa M.

    2014-03-01

    Tapered block copolymers are like AB diblock copolymers with a ``tapered block'' inserted between the A and B endblocks. This tapered block sequence is random with its average composition changing linearly from pure A to pure B (or B to A for inverse-tapered systems). Depending on the fraction of A monomers and the quantity χN , the blocks microphase separate to form various ordered morphologies. Increasing N (such as to improve mechanical properties) simultaneously affects the microphase separated state. Tapering adds another adjustable parameter, taper length, that can be used to control the microphase separated state. We map the phase diagrams of model tapered and inverse tapered polymers using self-consistent field theory (SCFT). The ordered phases shift to higher χN for tapered systems, and the shift increases as the taper length increases. Inverse tapers shift the phase diagram to even higher χN . Direct tapered systems' phase diagrams are like those of diblocks, but with a larger gyroid region. For large inverse tapered systems, the polymer appears like an ABAB tetrablock, and it folds across the interface or bridges between domains. In this case some of the ordered structures show reversed A and B domains where the majority phase is relatively impure.

  18. Structure and phase behaviour of diblock copolymer monolayers investigated by means of Monte Carlo simulation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Słyk, Edyta; Rżysko, Wojciech; Bryk, Paweł

    2015-10-01

    We use grand canonical Monte Carlo simulation paired with multiple histogram reweighting, hyperparallel tempering and finite size scaling to investigate the structure and phase behaviour of monolayers of diblock copolymers. The chain molecules are arranged on the square lattice and we consider both fully flexible and rod-coil polymer models. In contrast to the majority of previous studies we assume that the interactions between the segments belonging to one of the two subunits are weaker than the remaining segment-segment interactions. We find that when the diblock copolymer is fully flexible, this choice of the interactions leads to a suppression of the ordered phase, and the phase behaviour is analogous to that of the fully flexible homopolymer model. However, when one of the subunits is rigid, we observe the formation of a novel hairpin chessboard ordered structure with fully stretched chains bent in the middle. The topology of the phase diagram depends on the chain length. For shorter chains the global phase diagram features a critical point and a triple point. For longer chains the gas—disordered liquid phase transition is suppressed and only the order-disorder transition remains stable. The resulting phase diagram is of the swan neck type.

  19. Effect of wall potential on morphology of symmetric diblock copolymers in nanotrench

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Yoshida, Akihisa; Yoshimoto, Kenji; Ohshima, Masahiro

    2016-06-01

    We have investigated the morphology of symmetric poly(styrene-b-methyl methacrylate) (PS-b-PMMA) diblock copolymers in narrow trenches by performing Monte Carlo (MC) simulations. We considered two types of interactions between the PMMA-attractive trench walls and the PS-b-PMMA. First, an exponential-type wall potential was applied to the PMMA segments to attract them to the wall, which has been widely used for the coarse-grained MC model. In the second case, only the PMMA blocks initially located near the trench wall were adsorbed to the wall. In both cases, the number of the PMMA lamellae was step-wisely increased each time the trench was widened by ∼1.0L 0 (L 0: lamellae period in the bulk). However, due to its considerably thin PMMA layer, the trench width in the second case had ∼0.7L 0 offset from that in the first case. These results imply the importance of interfacial characterization between the diblock copolymers and the trench walls.

  20. Stable gene transfection mediated by polysulfobetaine/PDMAEMA diblock copolymer in salted medium.

    PubMed

    Dai, Fengying; Liu, Yuan; Wang, Wei; Liu, Wenguang

    2013-01-01

    Cationic polyplexes would aggregate immediately after intravenous injection due to the plasma proteins and high ionic strength. A cationic polyplexes with long-term and salt stability was very important for a systemic gene therapy. In this research, a polysulfobetaine-b-polycation diblock copolymer composed of cationic block of poly(2-(dimethylamino)ethyl methacrylate) (PDMAEMA) and zwtterionic block of poly(propylsulfonate dimethylammonium ethylmethacrylate) (PSPE) was conveniently synthesized by atom transfer radical polymerization method to obtain a cationic polymers with long-term and salt stability. The results of agarose gel electrophoresis and transmission electron microscope indicated that copolymerization of PSPE did not compromise the DNA condensation ability of PDMAEMA, meanwhile exhibiting lower cytotoxicity. The effect of salt on the absorbance and particle size of PDMAEMA100/DNA and PDMAEMA100-PSPEy/DNA complexes was investigated, which showed that PSPE block could increase the resistance of polyplexes against salt-induced aggregation owing to the antielectrolyte effect. In comparison with PDMAEMA homopolymer, PDMAEMA100-PSPEy retained more stable gene transfection in a certain range of salt concentration. The expression of red fluorescence protein (RFP) was evaluated by small animal in vivo fluorescence imaging system and the results showed that the expression of RFP was much higher in the mice injected with PDMAEMA100-PSPE20/pDNA-RFP than with PDMAEMA/pDNA-RFP. Both in vitro and in vivo results suggested that PDMAEMA-PSPE diblock copolymer may be potentially used as a vector for systemic gene therapy. PMID:23565651

  1. Microphase separation patterns in diblock copolymers on curved surfaces using a nonlocal Cahn-Hilliard equation.

    PubMed

    Jeong, Darae; Kim, Junseok

    2015-11-01

    We investigate microphase separation patterns on curved surfaces in three-dimensional space by numerically solving a nonlocal Cahn-Hilliard equation for diblock copolymers. In our model, a curved surface is implicitly represented as the zero level set of a signed distance function. We employ a discrete narrow band grid that neighbors the curved surface. Using the closest point method, we apply a pseudo-Neumann boundary at the boundary of the computational domain. The boundary treatment allows us to replace the Laplace-Beltrami operator by the standard Laplacian operator. In particular, we can apply standard finite difference schemes in order to approximate the nonlocal Cahn-Hilliard equation in the discrete narrow band domain. We employ a type of unconditionally stable scheme, which was introduced by Eyre, and use the Jacobi iterative to solve the resulting implicit discrete system of equations. In addition, we use the minimum number of grid points for the discrete narrow band domain. Therefore, the algorithm is simple and fast. Numerous computational experiments are provided to study microphase separation patterns for diblock copolymers on curved surfaces in three-dimensional space. PMID:26577816

  2. Self-Assembly of Pluronic Block Copolymers in Solutions: Simulation and Neutron Scattering

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zhang, Zhe; Hong, Kunlun; Do, Changwoo; Biology and Soft-Matter Division, Oak Ridge National Laboratory Team; Chemical Science Division, Oak Ridge National Laboratory Team

    2014-03-01

    Poly(ethylene oxide)-poly(propylene oxide)-poly(ethylene oxide) (PEO-PPO-PEO) triblock copolymers in water solution display various phase behaviors such as micellar, lamellar, and hexagonal phases and have been of great interest to researchers for their wide range of applications including templates of various nanostructures in solar cell and transportation of nanoparticles in drug delivery. In this study, we combined density functional theory-based mesoscale simulation and small-angle neutron scattering (SANS) experiments to investigate equilibrium structures of L62/water systems at different concentrations. Various simulation parameters found in the literature have been revisited with the experimental findings. Scattering experiments were found to be an excellent. This research is supported by the U.S. Department of Energy, Basic Energy Sciences, Materials Sciences and Energy Division.

  3. Flexible one diode-one phase change memory array enabled by block copolymer self-assembly.

    PubMed

    Mun, Beom Ho; You, Byoung Kuk; Yang, Se Ryeun; Yoo, Hyeon Gyun; Kim, Jong Min; Park, Woon Ik; Yin, You; Byun, Myunghwan; Jung, Yeon Sik; Lee, Keon Jae

    2015-04-28

    Flexible memory is the fundamental component for data processing, storage, and radio frequency communication in flexible electronic systems. Among several emerging memory technologies, phase-change random-access memory (PRAM) is one of the strongest candidate for next-generation nonvolatile memories due to its remarkable merits of large cycling endurance, high speed, and excellent scalability. Although there are a few approaches for flexible phase-change memory (PCM), high reset current is the biggest obstacle for the practical operation of flexible PCM devices. In this paper, we report a flexible PCM realized by incorporating nanoinsulators derived from a Si-containing block copolymer (BCP) to significantly lower the operating current of the flexible memory formed on plastic substrate. The reduction of thermal stress by BCP nanostructures enables the reliable operation of flexible PCM devices integrated with ultrathin flexible diodes during more than 100 switching cycles and 1000 bending cycles. PMID:25826001

  4. Hierarchical Self-Assembled Structures from POSS-Containing Block Copolymers Synthesized by Living Anionic Polymerization

    SciTech Connect

    Hirai, Tomoyasu; Leolukman, Melvina; Jin, Sangwoo; Goseki, Raita; Ishida, Yoshihito; Kakimoto, Masa-aki; Hayakawa, Teruaki; Ree, Moonhor; Gopalan, Padma

    2010-03-16

    Two kinds of polyhedral oligomeric silsesquioxane (POSS)-containing block copolymers (BCPs), namely PS-b-PMAPOSS and PMMA-b-PMAPOSS, were synthesized by living anionic polymerization. A wide range of molecular weights were obtained with a very narrow polydispersity index of less than 1.09. The bulk samples prepared by slow evaporation from a polymer solution in chloroform exhibit well-defined microphase-separated structures with long-range order. Thermal annealing induced hierarchical structures consisting of a smaller length scale ordered crystalline POSS domains within the larger microphase-separated structures. We report detailed structural characterization of these hierarchical structures in bulk and thin films by transmission electron microscopy and grazing incidence wide-angle X-ray scattering (GIWAXS). On the basis of this structural analysis, we propose a model for the formation of an orthorhombic lattice structure through the aggregation of POSS segments which formed a helix-like structure.

  5. Structure-Property Relationships in CO2-philic (Co)polymers: Phase Behavior, Self-Assembly, and Stabilization of Water/CO2 Emulsions.

    PubMed

    Girard, Etienne; Tassaing, Thierry; Marty, Jean-Daniel; Destarac, Mathias

    2016-04-13

    This Review provides comprehensive guidelines for the design of CO2-philic copolymers through an exhaustive and precise coverage of factors governing the solubility of different classes of polymers. Starting from computational calculations describing the interactions of CO2 with various functionalities, we describe the phase behavior in sc-CO2 of the main families of polymers reported in literature. The self-assembly of amphiphilic copolymers of controlled architecture in supercritical carbon dioxide and their use as stabilizers for water/carbon dioxide emulsions then are covered. The relationships between the structure of such materials and their behavior in solutions and at interfaces are systematically underlined throughout these sections. PMID:27014998

  6. Challenges with soft stamps for guiding of diblock copolymers

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Steinberg, Christian; Gubert, Malte; Papenheim, Marc; Wang, Si; Scheer, Hella-Christin; Zajadacz, Joachim; Zimmer, Klaus

    2015-11-01

    The preparation of nanostructures by guiding the phase separation of a block copolymer (BCP) is an attractive technique to overcome the limitations of conventional lithography. Well-established methods for guiding are to provide a topographical pattern (grapho-epitaxy) or a chemical pattern (chemo-epitaxy) on the substrate before BCP application. This paper reports on an alternative technique, the guiding of the BCP without pre-patterning the substrate, by providing the guiding pattern from the top, by nanoimprint. This approach offers the benefit of a multiple use of the same stamp. In the work reported here, we use an elastomeric stamp and examine capillary force lithography (CFL) with respect to guiding. The processing temperature is chosen high in order to provide fast phase separation. For the control of the surface energy of the substrate, a silane deposition from the gas phase is utilized. The ordering behavior of a lamellar polystyrene-polymethylmethacrylate BCP with CFL is studied. In particular, the issues specific with phase separation in an imprint situation are addressed, the locally differing layer thickness and the fact that two surface energies contribute to the ordering process, the one of the substrate and the one of the stamp. Though further optimization is required to make use of CFL for efficient guiding, the first results reported here indicate the potential of this technique for stamp-induced guiding of BCPs. As it allows a multiple use of the stamp, such guiding is interesting and may replace the time- and cost-consuming pre-patterning of each substrate.

  7. Thermo-responsive drug release from self-assembled micelles of brush-like PLA/PEG analogues block copolymers.

    PubMed

    Hu, Yanfei; Darcos, Vincent; Monge, Sophie; Li, Suming

    2015-08-01

    Thermo-responsive brush-like amphiphilic poly[2-(2-methoxyethoxy) ethyl methacrylate-co-oligo(ethylene glycol) methacrylate]-b-poly(l-lactide)-b-poly[2-(2-methoxyethoxy) ethyl methacrylate-co-oligo(ethylene glycol) methacrylate] [P(MEO2MA-co-OEGMA)-b-PLLA-b-P(MEO2MA-co-OEGMA)] triblock copolymers were synthesized by atom transfer radical polymerization of MEO2MA and OEGMA co-monomers using a α,ω-Bromopropionyl poly(l-lactide) (Br-PLLA-Br) macroinitiator. The resulting copolymers with MEO2MA/OEGMA molar ratio ranging from 79/21 to 42/58 were characterized by (1)H nuclear magnetic resonance and size exclusion chromatography. Thermo-responsive micelles were obtained by self-assembly of copolymers in aqueous medium. The micelles are spherical in shape with sizes varying from 20.7 to 102.5 nm. A hydrophobic anticancer drug, curcumin, was encapsulated in micelles by using membrane hydration method. The properties of drug loaded micelles were determined by dynamic light scattering, transmission electron microscopy and lower critical solution temperature (LCST) measurements. The micelles size decreases from 102.5 nm for blank micelles to 37.6 nm with 10.8% drug loading, suggesting that the drug plays an important role in the micellization procedure. The LCST decreases from 45.1°C for blank micelles to 40.6 and 38.3°C with 5.9 and 10.8% drug loading, respectively. In vitro drug release was performed in pH 7.4 PBS at different temperatures. Data show that the release rate was significantly enhanced above the LCST comparing with that below the LCST. The amount of released drug at 41°C was ca. 20% higher than that at 37°C. Burst-like release was depressed due to enhanced interaction between drug with hydrophobic PLA and PMA chains. PMID:26095914

  8. Lyotropic Phase Behavior of Polybutadiene-Poly(ethylene oxide) Diblock Copolymers in Ionic Liquids

    SciTech Connect

    Simone, Peter M.; Lodge, Timothy P.

    2008-08-26

    The lyotropic phase behavior of three poly(1,2-butadiene-b-ethylene oxide) diblock copolymers (PB-PEO) with different monomer volume fractions has been studied in two different ionic liquids, 1-ethyl-3-methylimidazolium bis(trifluoromethylsulfonyl)imide ([EMI][TFSI]) and 1-butyl-3-methylimidazolium hexafluorophosphate ([BMI][PF{sub 6}]), across the complete concentration range. The ordered microstructures present in the solutions were characterized via small-angle X-ray scattering (SAXS). The phase diagrams for the PB-PEO/ionic liquid solutions include regions corresponding to the classical copolymer microstructures: body-centered-cubic lattices of spheres, hexagonally ordered cylinders, and lamellae. Additionally, the phase diagrams also include wide regions of coexisting microstructures and regions apparently corresponding to a disordered network microstructure. The phase behavior of the PB-PEO copolymers in both ionic liquids was comparable to their previously reported aqueous solution behavior. The temperature dependence of the phase diagrams was very modest, indicative of a highly segregated system. The level of solvent selectivity was also investigated via cryogenic transmission electron microscopy (cryo-TEM) on dilute solutions. On the basis of the morphology of the dilute solution copolymer aggregate structures in the ionic liquid solvents, and on the structural length scales of the concentrated solutions, it was concluded that for PB-PEO [BMI][PF{sub 6}] behaves as a more selective solvent than [EMI][TFSI].

  9. Evolution of homopolymer thin-film instability on surface-anchored diblock copolymers varying in composition.

    PubMed

    Cai, Xiao-Jing; Genzer, Jan; Spontak, Richard J

    2014-10-01

    The stability of molecularly thin polymer films deposited on various material substrates is of critical importance to many contemporary nanotechnologies involving functional coatings and nano/micropatterned surfaces, in which case the causes responsible for film destabilization must be fully understood. Previous experimental studies report that factors such as film thickness and polymer molecular weight play significant roles in governing the rate, as well as mechanism, of destabilization. Complementary theoretical predictions reveal that surface heterogeneities can likewise induce (and regulate the process of) destabilization. In this study, we investigate the destabilization rate and mechanism of homopolystyrene (PS) films differing in thickness on top of poly(styrene-b-methyl methacrylate) (SM) diblock copolymer monolayers varying in chemical composition anchored to flat silica-like substrates to examine the effect of surface constitution on PS stability. Copolymers with a long M block consistently promote PS dewetting by nucleation and growth, wherein the linear dewetting rate decreases monotonically with increasing PS molecular weight, film thickness, and S fraction in the SM copolymer. In analogous studies involving a copolymer with a relatively short M block, however, PS dewetting proceeds instead by spinodal dewetting that evolves gradually into nucleation and growth as the film thickness is increased. PMID:25259655

  10. Self-assembled pentablock copolymers for selective and sustained gene delivery

    SciTech Connect

    Zhang, Bingqi

    2011-05-15

    The poly(diethylaminoethyl methacrylate) (PDEAEM) - Pluronic F127 - PDEAEM pentablock copolymer (PB) gene delivery vector system has been found to possess an inherent selectivity in transfecting cancer cells over non-cancer cells in vitro, without attaching any targeting ligands. In order to understand the mechanism of this selective transfection, three possible intracellular barriers to transfection were investigated in both cancer and non-cancer cells. We concluded that escape from the endocytic pathway served as the primary intracellular barrier for PB-mediated transfection. Most likely, PB vectors were entrapped and rendered non-functional in acidic lysosomes of non-cancer cells, but survived in less acidic lysosomes of cancer cells. The work highlights the importance of identifying intracellular barriers for different gene delivery systems and provides a new paradigm for designing targeting vectors based on intracellular differences between cell types, rather than through the use of targeting ligands. The PB vector was further developed to simultaneously deliver anticancer drugs and genes, which showed a synergistic effect demonstrated by significantly enhanced gene expression in vitro. Due to the thermosensitive gelation behavior, the PB vector packaging both drug and gene was also investigated for its in vitro sustained release properties by using polyethylene glycol diacrylate as a barrier gel to mimic the tumor matrix in vivo. Overall, this work resulted in the development of a gene delivery vector for sustained and selective gene delivery to tumor cells for cancer therapy.

  11. Self-assembled pentablock copolymers for selective and sustained gene delivery

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zhang, Bingqi

    The poly(diethylaminoethyl methacrylate) (PDEAEM) - Pluronic F127 - PDEAEM pentablock copolymer (PB) gene delivery vector system has been found to possess an inherent selectivity in transfecting cancer cells over non-cancer cells in vitro, without attaching any targeting ligands. In order to understand the mechanism of this selective transfection, three possible intracellular barriers to transfection were investigated in both cancer and non-cancer cells. We concluded that escape from the endocytic pathway served as the primary intracellular barrier for PB-mediated transfection. Most likely, PB vectors were entrapped and rendered non-functional in acidic lysosomes of non-cancer cells, but survived in less acidic lysosomes of cancer cells. The work highlights the importance of identifying intracellular barriers for different gene delivery systems and provides a new paradigm for designing targeting vectors based on intracellular differences between cell types, rather than through the use of targeting ligands. The PB vector was further developed to simultaneously deliver anticancer drugs and genes, which showed a synergistic effect demonstrated by significantly enhanced gene expression in vitro. Due to the thermosensitive gelation behavior, the PB vector packaging both drug and gene was also investigated for its in vitro sustained release properties by using polyethylene glycol diacrylate as a barrier gel to mimic the tumor matrix in vivo . Overall, this work resulted in the development of a gene delivery vector for sustained and selective gene delivery to tumor cells for cancer therapy.

  12. Self-assembly of a series of random copolymers bearing amphiphilic side chains.

    PubMed

    Wu, Xu; Qiao, Yingjie; Yang, Hui; Wang, Jinben

    2010-09-15

    A novel series of comb-like random copolymers were prepared by polymerization of amphiphilic macromonomers, 2-(acrylamido)-octane sulfonic acid (AMC(8)S), 2-(acrylamido)-dodecane sulfonic acid (AMC(12)S), and 2-(acrylamido)-hexadecane sulfonic acid (AMC(16)S), with 2-(acrylamido)-2-methylpropanesulfonic acid (AMPS) respectively. The synthesis of the polymers with the same contents of amphiphilic units as side chains, but different chain length, enabled us to study the chain length dependence of their association in salt solution. Steady-state fluorescence measurements with pyrene as a polarity probe, quasielastic light scattering techniques (QELS) and transmission electron micrograph (TEM) were employed to investigate the associative properties of the system. The above investigations showed that all kinds of side chains begin to assemble at certain polymer concentrations and the critical aggregation concentration (CAC) decrease dramatically with the increase in the length and content of alkyl. An interesting phenomenon is that the assembly tends more favorably to occur among different molecules rather than within single molecule when the number of carbon atoms in the alkyl groups or the polymer concentration increases, leading to the formation of larger multimolecular micelle-like aggregate. The aim of the present work is to establish the fundamental preconditions of intramolecular and intermolecular association fashions for the polymers, which is useful for the exploitation of functional groups and contributes to the development of amphiphilic random polymers. PMID:20576273

  13. Polymerized ionic liquid diblock copolymers: impact of water/ion clustering on ion conductivity.

    PubMed

    Nykaza, Jacob R; Ye, Yuesheng; Nelson, Rachel L; Jackson, Aaron C; Beyer, Frederick L; Davis, Eric M; Page, Kirt; Sharick, Sharon; Winey, Karen I; Elabd, Yossef A

    2016-01-28

    Herein, we examine the synergistic impact of both ion clustering and block copolymer morphology on ion conductivity in two polymerized ionic liquid (PIL) diblock copolymers with similar chemistries but different side alkyl spacer chain lengths (ethyl versus undecyl). When saturated in liquid water, water/ion clusters were observed only in the PIL block copolymer with longer alkyl side chains (undecyl) as evidenced by both small-angle neutron scattering and intermediate-angle X-ray scattering, i.e., water/ion clusters form within the PIL microdomain under these conditions. The resulting bromide ion conductivity in the undecyl sample was higher than the ethyl sample (14.0 mS cm(-1)versus 6.1 mS cm(-1) at 50 °C in liquid water) even though both samples had the same block copolymer morphology (lamellar) and the undecyl sample had a lower ion exchange capacity (0.9 meq g(-1)versus 1.4 meq g(-1)). No water/ion clusters were observed in either sample under high humidity or dry conditions. The resulting ion conductivity in the undecyl sample with lamellar morphology was significantly higher in the liquid water saturated state compared to the high humidity state (14.0 mS cm(-1)versus 4.2 mS cm(-1)), whereas there was no difference in ion conductivity in the ethyl sample when comparing these two states. These results show that small chemical changes to ion-containing block copolymers can induce water/ion clusters within block copolymer microdomains and this can subsequently have a significant effect on ion transport. PMID:26575014

  14. Phase Behavior of Binary Blends of High Molecular Weight Diblock Copolymers with a Low Molecular Weight Triblock

    SciTech Connect

    Mickiewicz, Rafal A.; Ntoukas, Eleftherios; Avgeropoulos, Apostolos; Thomas, Edwin L.

    2009-08-26

    Binary blends of four different high molecular weight poly(styrene-b-isoprene) (SI) diblock copolymers with a lower molecular weight poly(styrene-b-isoprene-b-styrene) (SIS) triblock copolymer were prepared, and their morphology was characterized by transmission electron microscopy and ultra-small-angle X-ray scattering. All the neat block copolymers have nearly symmetric composition and exhibit the lamellar morphology. The SI diblock copolymers had number-average molecular weights, Mn, in the range 4.4 x 10{sup 5}--1.3 x 10{sup 6} g/mol and volume fractions of poly(styrene), {Phi}{sub PS}, in the range 0.43--0.49, and the SIS triblock had a molecular weight of Mn 6.2 x 10{sup 4} g/mol with {Phi}{sub PS} = 0.41. The high molecular weight diblock copolymers are very strongly segregating, with interaction parameter values, {chi}N, in the range 470--1410. A morphological phase diagram in the parameter space of molecular weight ratio (R = M{sub n}{sup diblock}/1/2M{sub n}{sup triblock}) and blend composition was constructed, with R values in the range between 14 and 43, which are higher than previously reported. The phase diagram revealed a large miscibility gap for the blends, with macrophase separation into two distinct types of microphase-separated domains for weight fractions of SI, w{sub SI} < 0.9, implying virtually no solubility of the much higher molecular weight diblocks in the lower molecular weight triblock. For certain blend compositions, above R 30, morphological transitions from the lamellar to cylindrical and bicontinuous structures were also observed.

  15. Nanoparticle self-assembly in mixtures of phospholipids with styrene/maleic acid copolymers or fluorinated surfactants

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Vargas, Carolyn; Arenas, Rodrigo Cuevas; Frotscher, Erik; Keller, Sandro

    2015-12-01

    Self-assembling nanostructures in aqueous mixtures of bilayer-forming lipids and micelle-forming surfactants are relevant to in vitro studies on biological and synthetic membranes and membrane proteins. Considerable efforts are currently underway to replace conventional detergents by milder alternatives such as styrene/maleic acid (SMA) copolymers and fluorinated surfactants. However, these compounds and their nanosized assemblies remain poorly understood as regards their interactions with lipid membranes, particularly, the thermodynamics of membrane partitioning and solubilisation. Using 19F and 31P nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy, static and dynamic light scattering, and isothermal titration calorimetry, we have systematically investigated the aggregational state of a zwitterionic bilayer-forming phospholipid upon exposure to an SMA polymer with a styrene/maleic acid ratio of 3 : 1 or to a fluorinated octyl phosphocholine derivative called F6OPC. The lipid interactions of SMA(3 : 1) and F6OPC can be thermodynamically conceptualised within the framework of a three-stage model that treats bilayer vesicles, discoidal or micellar nanostructures, and the aqueous solution as distinct pseudophases. The exceptional solubilising power of SMA(3 : 1) is reflected in very low membrane-saturating and solubilising polymer/lipid molar ratios of 0.10 and 0.15, respectively. Although F6OPC saturates bilayers at an even lower molar ratio of 0.031, this nondetergent does not solubilise lipids even at >1000-fold molar excess, thus highlighting fundamental differences between these two types of mild membrane-mimetic systems. We rationalise these findings in terms of a new classification of surfactants based on bilayer-to-micelle transfer free energies and discuss practical implications for membrane-protein research.Self-assembling nanostructures in aqueous mixtures of bilayer-forming lipids and micelle-forming surfactants are relevant to in vitro studies on biological and

  16. Order–Order Morphological Transitions for Dual Stimulus Responsive Diblock Copolymer Vesicles

    PubMed Central

    2016-01-01

    A series of non-ionic poly(glycerol monomethacrylate)–poly(2-hydroxypropyl methacrylate) (PGMA–PHPMA) diblock copolymer vesicles has been prepared by reversible addition–fragmentation chain transfer (RAFT) aqueous dispersion polymerization of HPMA at 70 °C at low pH using a carboxylic acid-based chain transfer agent. The degree of polymerization (DP) of the PGMA block was fixed at 43, and the DP of the PHPMA block was systematically varied from 175 to 250 in order to target vesicle phase space. Based on our recent work describing the analogous PGMA–PHPMA diblock copolymer worms [LovettJ. R.; Angew. Chem.2015, 54, 1279−128325418214], such diblock copolymer vesicles were expected to undergo an order–order morphological transition via ionization of the carboxylic acid end-group on switching the solution pH. Indeed, irreversible vesicle-to-sphere and vesicle-to-worm transitions were observed for PHPMA DPs of 175 and 200, respectively, as judged by turbidimetry, transmission electron microscopy (TEM), and dynamic light scattering (DLS) studies. However, such morphological transitions are surprisingly slow, with relatively long time scales (hours) being required at 20 °C. Moreover, no order–order morphological transitions were observed for vesicles comprising longer membrane-forming blocks (e.g., PGMA43–PHPMA225–250) on raising the pH from pH 3.5 to pH 6.0. However, in such cases the application of a dual stimulus comprising the same pH switch immediately followed by cooling from 20 to 5 °C, induces an irreversible vesicle-to-sphere transition. Finally, TEM and DLS studies conducted in the presence of 100 mM KCl demonstrated that the pH-responsive behavior arising from end-group ionization could be suppressed in the presence of added electrolyte. This is because charge screening suppresses the subtle change in the packing parameter required to drive the morphological transition. PMID:26937051

  17. Room temperature aqueous self-assembly of poly(ethylene glycol)-poly(4-vinyl pyridine) block copolymers: From spherical to worm-like micelles.

    PubMed

    Rodrigues, Daniela P; Costa, João R C; Rocha, Nuno; Góis, Joana R; Serra, Arménio C; Coelho, Jorge F J

    2016-09-01

    The solution self-assembly and the formation, at room temperature, of a wide range of nanostructures based on monomethyl ether poly(ethylene glycol)-b-poly(4-vinyl pyridine) (mPEG-b-P4VP) block copolymer is reported. Copolymers with different compositions and molecular weights were synthesized through Atom Transfer Radical Polymerization (ATRP) method. The solution self-assembly of the block copolymers was studied by transmission electron microscopy (TEM) for different solution pHs. It was found that the formation of non-spherical nanostructures, such as rod- and worm-like micelles can be easily achieved, at room temperature, by simply varying the molecular weight of the different segments as well as the mPEG to P4VP ratio in the block copolymer structure. Because P4VP segments are known to form strong complexes with metals, the nanostructures prepared in this manuscript can find innovative applications in the biomedical field and be used as nano-templates for inorganic materials. PMID:27232308

  18. Organic-inorganic random copolymers from methacrylate-terminated poly(ethylene oxide) with 3-methacryloxypropylheptaphenyl polyhedral oligomeric silsesquioxane: synthesis via RAFT polymerization and self-assembly behavior.

    PubMed

    Wei, Kun; Li, Lei; Zheng, Sixun; Wang, Ge; Liang, Qi

    2014-01-14

    In this contribution, we report the synthesis of organic-inorganic random polymers from methacrylate-terminated poly(ethylene oxide) (MAPEO) (Mn = 950) and 3-methacryloxypropylheptaphenyl polyhedral oligomeric silsesquioxane (MAPOSS) macromers via reversible addition-fragmentation chain transfer (RAFT) polymerization with 4-cyano-4-(thiobenzoylthio) valeric acid (CTBTVA) as the chain transfer agent. The organic-inorganic random copolymers were characterized by means of (1)H NMR spectroscopy, gel permeation chromatography (GPC) and differential scanning calorimetry (DSC). The results of GPC indicate that the polymerizations were carried out in a controlled fashion. Transmission electron microscopy (TEM) showed that the organic-inorganic random copolymers in bulk were microphase-separated and the POSS microdomains were formed via POSS-POSS interactions. In aqueous solutions the organic-inorganic random copolymers were capable of self-assembling into spherical nanoobjects as evidenced by transmission electron microscopy (TEM) and dynamic laser scattering (DLS). The self-assembly behavior of the organic-inorganic random copolymers was also found to occur in the mixtures with the precursors of epoxy. The nanostructures were further fixed via subsequent curing reaction and thus the organic-inorganic nanocomposites were obtained. The formation of nanophases in epoxy thermosets was confirmed by transmission electron microscopy (TEM) and dynamic mechanical thermal analysis (DMTA). The organic-inorganic nanocomposites displayed the enhanced surface hydrophobicity as evidenced by surface contact angle measurements. PMID:24651714

  19. Modulating the self-assembly of amphiphilic X-shaped block copolymers with cyclodextrins: structure and mechanisms.

    PubMed

    González-Gaitano, Gustavo; Müller, Céline; Radulescu, Aurel; Dreiss, Cécile A

    2015-04-14

    Inclusion complexes between cyclodextrins and polymers-so-called pseudopolyrotaxanes (PPR)-are at the origin of fascinating supramolecular structures, which are finding increasing uses in biomedical and technological fields. Here we explore the impact of both native and a range of modified cyclodextrins (CD) on the self-assembly of X-shaped poly(ethylene oxide)-poly(propylene oxide) block copolymers, so-called Tetronics or poloxamines, by focusing on Tetronic 904 (T904, Mw 6700). The effects are markedly dependent on the type and arrangement of the substituents on the macrocycle. While native CDs drive the formation of a solid PPR, most substituted CDs induce micellar breakup, with dimethylated β-CD (DIMEB) having the strongest impact and randomly substituted CDs a much weaker disruptive effect. Using native α-CD as a "molecular trap", we perform competitive binding experiments-where two types of CDs thread together onto the polymer chains-to establish that DIMEB indeed has the highest propensity to form an inclusion complex with the polymer, while hydroxypropylated CDs do not thread. 1D (1)H NMR and ROESY experiments confirm the formation of a soluble PPR with DIMEB in which the CD binds preferentially to the PO units, thus providing the drive for the observed demicellization. A combination of dynamic light scattering (DLS) and small-angle neutron scattering (SANS) is used to extract detailed structural parameters on the micelles. A binding model is proposed, which exploits the chemical shifts of selected protons from the CD in conjunction with the Hill equation, to prove that the formation of the PPR is a negatively cooperative process, in which threaded DIMEBs hamper the entrance of subsequent macrocycles. PMID:25785814

  20. Nanoparticle self-assembly in mixtures of phospholipids with styrene/maleic acid copolymers or fluorinated surfactants.

    PubMed

    Vargas, Carolyn; Arenas, Rodrigo Cuevas; Frotscher, Erik; Keller, Sandro

    2015-12-28

    Self-assembling nanostructures in aqueous mixtures of bilayer-forming lipids and micelle-forming surfactants are relevant to in vitro studies on biological and synthetic membranes and membrane proteins. Considerable efforts are currently underway to replace conventional detergents by milder alternatives such as styrene/maleic acid (SMA) copolymers and fluorinated surfactants. However, these compounds and their nanosized assemblies remain poorly understood as regards their interactions with lipid membranes, particularly, the thermodynamics of membrane partitioning and solubilisation. Using (19)F and (31)P nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy, static and dynamic light scattering, and isothermal titration calorimetry, we have systematically investigated the aggregational state of a zwitterionic bilayer-forming phospholipid upon exposure to an SMA polymer with a styrene/maleic acid ratio of 3 : 1 or to a fluorinated octyl phosphocholine derivative called F(6)OPC. The lipid interactions of SMA(3 : 1) and F(6)OPC can be thermodynamically conceptualised within the framework of a three-stage model that treats bilayer vesicles, discoidal or micellar nanostructures, and the aqueous solution as distinct pseudophases. The exceptional solubilising power of SMA(3 : 1) is reflected in very low membrane-saturating and solubilising polymer/lipid molar ratios of 0.10 and 0.15, respectively. Although F(6)OPC saturates bilayers at an even lower molar ratio of 0.031, this nondetergent does not solubilise lipids even at >1000-fold molar excess, thus highlighting fundamental differences between these two types of mild membrane-mimetic systems. We rationalise these findings in terms of a new classification of surfactants based on bilayer-to-micelle transfer free energies and discuss practical implications for membrane-protein research. PMID:26599076

  1. Sub-10nm lines and spaces patterning using grapho-epitaxial directed self-assembly of lamellar block copolymers

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Seino, Yuriko; Sato, Hironobu; Kasahara, Yusuke; Minegishi, Shinya; Miyagi, Ken; Kubota, Hitoshi; Kanai, Hideki; Kodera, Katsuyoshi; Shiraishi, Masayuki; Kihara, Naoko; Kawamonzen, Yoshiaki; Tobana, Toshikatsu; Kobayashi, Katsutoshi; Yamano, Hitoshi; Azuma, Tsukasa; Nomura, Satoshi

    2016-04-01

    Our target at EIDEC is to study the feasibility of directed self-assembly (DSA) technology for semiconductor device manufacturing through electrical yield verification by development of such as process, material, metrology, simulation and design for DSA. We previously developed a grapho/chemo-hybrid coordinated line epitaxial process for sub-15-nm line-and-space (L/S) patterning using polystyrene-block-poly(methyl methacrylate) lamellar block copolymers (BCPs)1- 3. Electrical yield verification results showed that a 30% open yield was successfully achieved with a metal wire line length of 700 μm 4. In the next stage of the evaluation, a sub-10-nm L/S DSA patterning process based on graphoepitaxial DSA of 20-nm lamellar period organic BCPs was developed based on neutral layer and guide space width optimization. At a 30-nm guide height, problems such as BCP overflow and DSA line shorts were observed after the dry development. At a 60-nm guide height, grid-like short defects were observed under dry development shallow etch conditions and sub-10-nm L/S patterns were formed under optimized etch conditions with a suitable BCP film thickness margin. The process performance was evaluated in terms of defects and critical dimension measurements using an electron beam inspection system and critical dimension-scanning electron microscope metrology. The main DSA defects were short defects, and the spatial roughness appeared to be caused by the periodic pitches of these short defects and the guide roughness. We successfully demonstrated the fabrication of sub-10-nm metal wires consists of L/S, pad, connect and cut patterns with controlled alignment and stack structure through lithography, etching and CMP process on a 300- mm wafer using the fully integrated DSA process and damascene processing.

  2. Highly Tunable Complementary Micro/Submicro-Nanopatterned Surfaces Combining Block Copolymer Self-Assembly and Colloidal Lithography.

    PubMed

    Chang, Tongxin; Du, Binyang; Huang, Haiying; He, Tianbai

    2016-08-31

    Two kinds of large-area ordered and highly tunable micro/submicro-nanopatterned surfaces in a complementary manner were successfully fabricated by elaborately combining block copolymer self-assembly and colloidal lithography. Employing a monolayer of polystyrene (PS) colloidal spheres assembled on top as etching mask, polystyrene-block-poly(2-vinylpyridine) (PS-b-P2VP) or polystyrene-block-poly(4-vinylpyridine) (PS-b-P4VP) micelle films were patterned into micro/submicro patches by plasma etching, which could be further transferred into micropatterned metal nanoarrays by subsequent metal precursor loading and a second plasma etching. On the other hand, micro/submicro-nanopatterns in a complementary manner were generated via preloading a metal precursor in initial micelle films before the assembly of PS colloidal spheres on top. Both kinds of micro/submicro-nanopatterns showed good fidelity at the micro/submicroscale and nanoscale; meanwhile, they could be flexibly tuned by the sample and processing parameters. Significantly, when the PS colloidal sphere size was reduced to 250 nm, a high-resolution submicro-nanostructured surface with 3-5 metal nanoparticles in each patch or a single-nanoparticle interconnected honeycomb network was achieved. Moreover, by applying gold (Au) nanoparticles as anchoring points, micronanopatterned Au arrays can serve as a flexible template to pattern bovine serum albumin (BSA) molecules. This facile and cost-effective approach may provide a novel platform for fabrication of micropatterned nanoarrays with high tunability and controllability, which are promising in the applications of biological and microelectronic fields. PMID:27509255

  3. Protonation-Induced Microphase Separation in Thin Films of a Polyelectrolyte-Hydrophilic Diblock Copolymer

    PubMed Central

    2015-01-01

    Block copolymers composed of poly(oligo ethylene glycol methyl ether methacrylate) and poly(2-vinylpyridine) are disordered in the neat state but can be induced to order by protonation of the P2VP block, demonstrating a tunable and responsive method for triggering assembly in thin films. Comparison of protonation with the addition of salts shows that microphase separation is due to selective protonation of the P2VP block. Increasing acid incorporation and increasing 2-vinylpyridine content for P2VP minority copolymers both promote increasingly phase-separated morphologies, consistent with protonation increasing the effective strength of segregation between the two blocks. The self-assembled nanostructures formed after casting from acidic solutions may be tuned based on the amount and type of acid incorporation as well as the annealing treatment applied after casting, where both aqueous and polar organic solvents are shown to be effective. Therefore, POEGMA-b-P2VP is a novel ion-containing block copolymer whose morphologies can be facilely tuned during casting and processing by controlling its exposure to acid. PMID:24910809

  4. Chiral selection of single helix formed by diblock copolymers confined in nanopores.

    PubMed

    Deng, Hanlin; Qiang, Yicheng; Zhang, Tingting; Li, Weihua; Yang, Tao

    2016-09-21

    Chiral selection has attracted tremendous attention from the scientific communities, especially from biologists, due to the mysterious origin of homochirality in life. The self-assembly of achiral block copolymers confined in nanopores offers a simple but useful model of forming helical structures, where the helical structures possess random chirality selection, i.e. equal probability of left-handedness and right-handedness. Based on this model, we study the stimulus-response of chiral selection to external conditions by introducing a designed chiral pattern onto the inner surface of a nanopore, aiming to obtain a defect-free helix with controllable homochirality. A cell dynamics simulation based on the time-dependent Ginzburg-Landau theory is carried out to demonstrate the tuning effect of the patterned surface on the chiral selection. Our results illustrate that the chirality of the helix can be successfully controlled to be consistent with that of the tailored surface patterns. This work provides a successful example for the stimulus response of the chiral selection of self-assembled morphologies from achiral macromolecules to external conditions, and hence sheds light on the understanding of the mechanism of the stimulus response. PMID:27536966

  5. Phase diagram of rod-coil diblock copolymer melts by self-consistent field theory

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Yan, Dadong; Tang, Jiuzhou; Jiang, Ying; Zhang, Xinghua; Chen, Jeff

    A unified phase diagram is presented for rod-coil diblock copolymer melts in the isotropic phase regime as a function of the asymmetric parameter. The study is based on free-energy calculation, which incorporates three-dimensional spatial variations of the volume fraction with angular dependence. The wormlike-chain model is used in a self-consistent field treatment. Body-centered cubic, A15, hexagonal, gyroid, and lamellar structures where the rod segments are packed inside the convex rod-coil interface are found stable. As the conformational asymmetric parameter increases, the A15 phase region expands and the gyroid phase region reduces. The stability of the structures is analyzed by concepts such as packing frustration, spinodal limit, and interfacial curvature.

  6. Anisotropic Lithium Ion Conductivity in Single-Ion Diblock Copolymer Electrolyte Thin Films.

    PubMed

    Aissou, Karim; Mumtaz, Muhammad; Usluer, Özlem; Pécastaings, Gilles; Portale, Giuseppe; Fleury, Guillaume; Cloutet, Eric; Hadziioannou, Georges

    2016-02-01

    Well-defined single-ion diblock copolymers consisting of a Li-ion conductive poly(styrenesulfonyllithium(trifluoromethylsulfonyl)imide) (PSLiTFSI) block associated with a glassy polystyrene (PS) block have been synthesized via reversible addition fragmentation chain transfer polymerization. Conductivity anisotropy ratio up to 1000 has been achieved from PS-b-PSLiTFSI thin films by comparing Li-ion conductivities of out-of-plane (aligned) and in-plane (antialigned) cylinder morphologies at 40 °C. Blending of PS-b-PSLiTFSI thin films with poly(ethylene oxide) homopolymer (hPEO) enables a substantial improvement of Li-ion transport within aligned cylindrical domains, since hPEO, preferentially located in PSLiTFSI domains, is an excellent lithium-solvating material. Results are also compared with unblended and blended PSLiTFSI homopolymer (hPSLiTFSI) homologues, which reveals that ionic conductivity is improved when thin films are nanostructured. PMID:26618916

  7. Diblock-copolymer-coated water- and oil-repellent cotton fabrics.

    PubMed

    Xiong, Dean; Liu, Guojun; Duncan, E J Scott

    2012-05-01

    A diblock copolymer consisting of a sol-gel-forming block and a fluorinated block was used to coat cotton fabrics, yielding textiles that were highly oil- and water-repellent. The coating procedure was simple. At grafted polymer amounts of as low as 1.0 wt %, water, diodomethane, hexadecane, cooking oil, and pump oil all had contact angles surpassing 150° on the coated cotton fabrics and were readily rolled. The liquids were not drawn into the interfiber space by the coated fabrics. Rather, droplets of the nonvolatile liquids such as cooking oil retained their beaded shapes for months with minimal contact angle changes. When forced into water, the coated fabrics trapped an air or plastron layer and this plastron layer was stable for months. In addition, the coating had high stability against simulated washing, and the mechanical properties were essentially identical to those of uncoated cotton fabrics. PMID:22515836

  8. NIL mold manufacturing using self-organized diblock copolymer as patterning template

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kihara, Naoko; Hieda, Hiroyuki; Naito, Katsuyuki

    2008-03-01

    A low-cost fabrication method combining self-organized lithography and nanoimprint is proposed as a possible solution for patterned media production for the memory density beyond 1 Tbpsi. For that purpose, imprint mold equipped with 30-nm-pitch pillar pattern was formed on a Si substrate using diblock copolymer template. Room-temperature imprint and ion milling were applied to avoid thermal and chemical damage to magnetic film during a patterning process. The obtained aspect ratio of the relief by room-temperature imprint was enhanced via pattern-inverse process. After ionmilling treatment, 30-nm-pitch magnetic dot array with 20 nm height was observed. A nickel replica mold was formed by electroforming applying the Si mold as an original master. These results indicate the possibility that nanoimprinting is a practical method for 1 Tbpsi patterned media production.

  9. The self-assembly of copolymers with one hydrophobic and one polyelectrolyte block in aqueous media: a dissipative particle dynamics study.

    PubMed

    Lísal, Martin; Limpouchová, Zuzana; Procházka, Karel

    2016-06-28

    The reversible self-assembly of symmetrical block copolymers consisting of one hydrophobic block and one ionizable polyelectrolyte block of the same length has been studied in aqueous solutions by dissipative particle dynamics simulations. In addition to three standard dissipative particle dynamics forces (conservative soft repulsion, dissipative and stochastic forces), explicit interaction between smeared charges on ions and on ionized polymer beads described by the electrostatic potential with appropriately localized charges was taken into account. The self-assembly and properties of formed core-shell micelles were investigated as functions of the degree of ionization for systems differing in the hydrophobicity of the non-ionized polyelectrolyte block and in the compatibility of the polymer blocks. This study shows that micelles undergo massive dissociation with increasing degree of ionization. The simulation data compare well with the predictions of scaling theories for systems with soluble polyelectrolytes on a semi-quantitative level and broaden the knowledge of systems in poor solvents. PMID:27254381

  10. Directed Assembly of Lamellae Forming Block Copolymer Thin Films near the Order-Disorder Transition

    SciTech Connect

    Kim, Sangwon; Nealey, Paul F.; Bates, Frank S.

    2014-08-07

    The impact of thin film confinement on the ordering of lamellae was investigated using symmetric poly(styrene-b-[isoprene-ran-epoxyisoprene]) diblock copolymers bound by nonpreferential wetting interfaces. The order–disorder transition temperature (TODT) and the occurrence of composition fluctuations in the disordered state are not significantly affected by two-dimensional confinement. Directed self-assembly using chemical patterning is demonstrated near TODT. These results establish the minimum feature size attainable using directed self-assembly of a given diblock copolymer system.

  11. A Quantitative Study of Tethered Chains in Various Solution Conditions Using Langmuir Diblock Copolymer Monolayers

    SciTech Connect

    Kent, Michael S.

    1999-08-13

    This article summarizes our investigations of tethered chain systems using Langmuir monolayer of polydimethysiloxane-poly styrene (PDMS-PS) diblock copolymers on organic liquids. In this system, the PDMS block adsorbs to the air surface while the PS block dangles into the subphase liquid. The air surface can be made either repulsive or attractive for the tethered PS chain segments by choosing a subphase liquid which has a surface tension lower or greater than that of PS, respectively. The segment profile of the PS block is determined by neutron reflection as a function of the surface density, the molecular weights of the PS and PDMS blocks, and the solution conditions. We cover the range of reduced surface density (SIGMA) characteristic of the large body of data in the literature for systems of chains tethered onto solid surfaces from dilute solution in good or theta solvent conditions (SIGMA < 12). We emphasize quantitative comparisons with analytical profile forms and scaling predictions. We find that the strong-stretching limit invoked in analytical SCF and scaling theories is not valid over this Z range. On the other hand, over a large portion of this range (SIGMA < 5) tethered layers are well described by a renormalization group theory addressing weakly interacting or noninteracting chains. Simultaneous with the study of the profile form, the free energy of the chains is examined through the surface tension. A strong increase in the surface pressure is observed with increasing surface density which determines the maximum surface density which can be achieved. This apparently nonequilibrium effect is attributed to steric interactions and limited lateral interpenetration. This effect may explain several outstanding discrepancies regarding the adsorption of end-functionalized chains and diblock copolymers onto solid surfaces.

  12. Lyotropic Phase Behavior of Poly(ethylene oxide)-Poly(butadiene) Diblock Copolymers: Evolution of the Random Network Morphology

    SciTech Connect

    Jain, Sumeet; Dyrdahl, Mitchell H.E.; Gong, Xiaobo; Scriven, L.E.; Bates, Frank S.

    2008-10-24

    The phase behavior of poly(ethylene oxide)-poly(butadiene) (PEO-PB) diblock copolymers mixed with water was studied using small-angle X-ray scattering (SAXS), cryogenic scanning electron microscopy (cryo-SEM), cryogenic transmission electron microscopy (cryo-TEM), and dynamic mechanical spectroscopy. Two sets of diblocks were synthesized by adding different lengths of PEO to hydroxy terminated PB with degrees of polymerization N{sub PB} = 46 and 170. Two-component mixtures were investigated as a function of block composition and copolymer molecular weight, between 1 and 100 wt % polymer content. Melt phase behavior is consistent with established theory and known experimental behavior for diblock copolymers. Various lyotropic liquid crystalline structures, notably lamellae (L), hexagonally packed cylinders (H), and spheres (S) arranged on cubic (body-centered cubic, face-centered cubic) lattices, were documented as a function of water content. At the higher molecular weights (N{sub PB} = 170), a random network phase (N) was identified over a sizable portion of the phase portrait, located between hexagonally ordered cylinders and ordered lamellae. This new structure, along with branching of cylindrical micelles in the dilute limit, bear a striking similarity to experimentally observed and theoretically predicted phase behavior in certain ternary water/oil/surfactant systems. These findings demonstrate that block copolymer surfactants are characterized by at least four structural building blocks -- spheres, cylinders, bilayers, and branched cylinders -- above a threshold molecular weight.

  13. Neutron spin echo investigation of the concentration fluctuation dynamics in melts of diblock copolymers

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Montes, H.; Monkenbusch, M.; Willner, L.; Rathgeber, S.; Fetters, L.; Richter, D.

    1999-05-01

    Diblock copolymers in the melt exhibit order-disorder phase transitions (ODT), which are accompanied by strong concentration fluctuations. These transitions are generally described in terms of the random phase approximation (RPA) of Leibler and Fredrickson, which is able to explain small angle scattering results in the neighborhood of the ODT, in particular around the correlation peak at q*. The RPA theory has been extended to include dynamical phenomena, predicting the short time relaxation of the dynamic structure factor in polymeric multicomponent systems. We report small angle neutron scattering and neutron spin echo experiments on polyethylene-block-polyethylethylene (PE-PEE) and poly(ethylene-propylene)-block-polyethylethylene (PEP-PEE) copolymers with molecular weights of 16.500 and 68.000 g/mol, which explore the structure and dynamics of these block copolymers. Studying melts with different hydrogen/deuterium labeling it was possible to observe experimentally the different relaxation modes of such systems separately. In particular the collective relaxation behavior as well as the single chain motion were accessed. The experimental results were quantitatively compared with the RPA predictions, which were based solely on the dynamical properties of the corresponding homopolymers and the static structure factors. The collective dynamics exhibits an unanticipated fast relaxation mode. This mode is most visible at low wave numbers (q⩾q*) but extends to length scales considerably shorter than the radius of gyration. Furthermore, the dynamical RPA yields expressions for the mobilities of chain segments in the block copolymer melt. These combination rules are at variance with the experimental findings for the single chain dynamics, while they hold for the collective response.

  14. Self-assemblies of γ-CDs with pentablock copolymers PMA-PPO-PEO-PPO-PMA and endcapping via atom transfer radical polymerization of 2-methacryloyloxyethyl phosphorylcholine

    PubMed Central

    Lin, Jing; Kong, Tao; Ye, Lin; Zhang, Ai-ying

    2015-01-01

    Summary Pentablock copolymers PMA-PPO-PEO-PPO-PMA synthesized via atom transfer radical polymerization (ATRP) were self-assembled with varying amounts of γ-CDs to prepare poly(pseudorotaxanes) (PPRs). When the concentration of γ-CDs was lower, the central PEO segment served as a shell of the micelles and was preferentially bent to pass through the γ-CD cavity to construct double-chain-stranded tight-fit PPRs characterized by a channel-like crystal structure. With an increase in the amount of γ-CDs added, they began to accommodate the poly(methyl acrylate) (PMA) segments dissociated from the core of the micelles. When more γ-CDs were threaded and slipped over the segments, the γ-CDs were randomly distributed along the pentablock copolymer chain to generate single-chain-stranded loose-fit PPRs and showed no characteristic channel-like crystal structure. All the self-assembly processes of the pentablock copolymers resulted in the formation of hydrogels. After endcapping via in situ ATRP of 2-methacryloyloxyethyl phosphorylcholine (MPC), these single-chain-stranded loose-fit PPRs were transformed into conformational identical polyrotaxanes (PRs). The structures of the PPRs and PRs were characterized by means of 1H NMR, GPC, 13C CP/MAS NMR, 2D 1H NOESY NMR, FTIR, WXRD, TGA and DSC analyses. PMID:26732122

  15. Thermal composition fluctuations near the isotropic Lifshitz critical point in a ternary mixture of a homopolymer blend and diblock copolymer

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Schwahn, Dietmar; Mortensen, Kell; Frielinghaus, Henrich; Almdal, Kristoffer; Kielhorn, Lars

    2000-03-01

    We have studied thermal composition fluctuations of a ternary symmetric homopolymer/diblock copolymer system of PEE/PDMS/PEE-PDMS [PEE and PDMS being poly(ethyl ethylene) and poly(dimethyl siloxane), respectively] in its disordered state with small angle neutron scattering for concentration Φ of diblocks up to 15%. The phase diagram shows three characteristic regimes; (1) below the Lifshitz concentration ΦLL≅9%; (2) in the very near vicinity of the Lifshitz concentration; and (3) above ΦLL. In the regime (1) of low diblock content the maximum neutron intensity is obtained at Q=0 and phase separation into macroscopic large domains is observed at low temperatures. With increasing diblock content the thermal fluctuations indicate a crossover from 3d-Ising to isotropic Lifshitz critical behavior with critical exponents of the susceptibility γ=(1.62±0.01) and correlation length ν=(0.99±0.04) appreciably larger than in the 3d-Ising case. In the structure factor this crossover is accompanied by a strong reduction of the Q2 term leading to the dominance of the Q4 term; the restoring force of the thermal fluctuations is strongly reduced as the Q2 term is proportional to the surface energy. Near the Lifshitz critical temperature a further crossover was observed leading to the appreciably larger critical exponents γ=(2.44±0.08) and ν=(1.22±0.08) and a stabilization of the disordered regime visible through a decrease of the phase boundary by nearly 10 K. This crossover is interpreted by the formation of fluctuation induced inhomogeneous diblock distribution at the interface of the thermal fluctuations. (2) In the intermediate regime between 9% and 12% diblock content the Lifshitz line was crossed twice upon increasing the temperature from low to high temperatures; at low and high temperatures the structure factor S(Q) shows diblock character (maximum of S(Q) at Q≠0) while at intermediate temperature blendlike character (maximum of S(Q) at Q=0). At low

  16. Self-assembled supramolecular hydrogel based on PCL-PEG-PCL triblock copolymer and γ-cyclodextrin inclusion complex for sustained delivery of dexamethasone.

    PubMed

    Khodaverdi, Elham; Gharechahi, Marzieh; Alibolandi, Mona; Tekie, Farnaz Sadat Mirzazadeh; Khashyarmanesh, Bibi Zahra; Hadizadeh, Farzin

    2016-01-01

    In this study, thermosensitive, water-soluble, and biodegradable triblock copolymer PCL600-PEG6000-PCL600 was used to form supramolecular hydrogel (SMGel) by inclusion complexation with γ-cyclodextrin (γ-CD). The prepared SMGel was investigated as a carrier for sustained release of dexamethasone. The triblock copolymer PCL-PEG-PCL [where PCL = polycaprolactone, PEG = poly(ethylene glycol)] was synthesized by the ring-opening polymerization method using microwave irradiation. The polymerization reaction and the copolymer structures were evaluated by nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) and gel permeation chromatography (GPC). SMGel was prepared in aqueous solution by blending an aqueous γ-CD solution with aqueous solution of PCL-PEG-PCL triblock copolymer at room temperature. The sol-to-gel transition time was measured at various concentrations of copolymer and γ-CD. As-prepared SMGel was used to prepare a sustained, controllable drug delivery system of dexamethasone sodium phosphate. The SMGel was also characterized in terms of rheological, morphological, and structural properties. Results obtained from proton nuclear magnetic resonance ( (1)H-NMR) and GPC demonstrated that microwave irradiation is a simple and reliable method for synthesis of PEG-PCL copolymer. The SMGel with excellent syringability was prepared by mixing of 20% wt γ-CD and 10% wt of copolymer within 4 s. The SMGel containing 10% wt copolymer, 20% wt γ-CD, and 0.5% or 0.1% wt dexamethasone released approximately 100% and 45% of drug over up to 23 days, respectively. It could be concluded that SMGel based on self-assembly of inclusion complexes between PCL-PEG-PCL copolymer and γ-CD could be used as a basis for injectable drug delivery systems that provide sustained and controlled release of macromolecular drugs such as dexamethasone. PMID:27051627

  17. Self-assembled supramolecular hydrogel based on PCL-PEG-PCL triblock copolymer and γ-cyclodextrin inclusion complex for sustained delivery of dexamethasone

    PubMed Central

    Khodaverdi, Elham; Gharechahi, Marzieh; Alibolandi, Mona; Tekie, Farnaz Sadat Mirzazadeh; Khashyarmanesh, Bibi Zahra; Hadizadeh, Farzin

    2016-01-01

    In this study, thermosensitive, water-soluble, and biodegradable triblock copolymer PCL600-PEG6000-PCL600 was used to form supramolecular hydrogel (SMGel) by inclusion complexation with γ-cyclodextrin (γ-CD). The prepared SMGel was investigated as a carrier for sustained release of dexamethasone. The triblock copolymer PCL-PEG-PCL [where PCL = polycaprolactone, PEG = poly(ethylene glycol)] was synthesized by the ring-opening polymerization method using microwave irradiation. The polymerization reaction and the copolymer structures were evaluated by nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) and gel permeation chromatography (GPC). SMGel was prepared in aqueous solution by blending an aqueous γ-CD solution with aqueous solution of PCL-PEG-PCL triblock copolymer at room temperature. The sol-to-gel transition time was measured at various concentrations of copolymer and γ-CD. As-prepared SMGel was used to prepare a sustained, controllable drug delivery system of dexamethasone sodium phosphate. The SMGel was also characterized in terms of rheological, morphological, and structural properties. Results obtained from proton nuclear magnetic resonance ( 1H-NMR) and GPC demonstrated that microwave irradiation is a simple and reliable method for synthesis of PEG-PCL copolymer. The SMGel with excellent syringability was prepared by mixing of 20% wt γ-CD and 10% wt of copolymer within 4 s. The SMGel containing 10% wt copolymer, 20% wt γ-CD, and 0.5% or 0.1% wt dexamethasone released approximately 100% and 45% of drug over up to 23 days, respectively. It could be concluded that SMGel based on self-assembly of inclusion complexes between PCL-PEG-PCL copolymer and γ-CD could be used as a basis for injectable drug delivery systems that provide sustained and controlled release of macromolecular drugs such as dexamethasone. PMID:27051627

  18. Phase behavior of diblock copolymer/star-shaped polymer thin film mixtures.

    PubMed

    Zhao, Junnan; Sakellariou, Georgios; Green, Peter F

    2016-05-01

    We investigated the phase behavior of thin film, thickness h≈ 100 nm, mixtures of a polystyrene-b-poly(2-vinylpyridine) (PS-b-P2VP) diblock copolymer with star-shaped polystyrene (SPS) molecules of varying functionalities f, where 4 ≤f≤ 64, and molecular weights per arm Marm. The miscibility of the system and the surface composition varied appreciably with Marm and f. For large values of Marm, regardless of f, the miscibility of the system was qualitatively similar to that of linear chain PS/PS-b-P2VP mixtures - the copolymer chains aggregate to form micelles, each composed of an inner P2VP core and PS corona, which preferentially segregate to the free surface. On the other hand, for large f and small Marm, SPS molecules preferentially resided at the free surface. Moreover, blends containing SPS molecules with the highest values of f and lowest values of Marm were phase separated. These observations are rationalized in terms of competing entropic interactions and the dependence of the surface tension of the star-shaped molecules on Marm and f. PMID:27074835

  19. Soft self-assembled nanoparticles with temperature-dependent properties.

    PubMed

    Rovigatti, Lorenzo; Capone, Barbara; Likos, Christos N

    2016-02-14

    The fabrication of versatile building blocks that reliably self-assemble into desired ordered and disordered phases is amongst the hottest topics in contemporary materials science. To this end, microscopic units of varying complexity, aimed at assembling the target phases, have been thought, designed, investigated and built. Such a path usually requires laborious fabrication techniques, especially when specific functionalisation of the building blocks is required. Telechelic star polymers, i.e., star polymers made of a number of f di-block copolymers consisting of solvophobic and solvophilic monomers grafted on a central anchoring point, spontaneously self-assemble into soft patchy particles featuring attractive spots (patches) on the surface. Here we show that the tunability of such a system can be widely extended by controlling the physical and chemical parameters of the solution. Indeed, under fixed external conditions the self-assembly behaviour depends only on the number of arms and on the ratio of solvophobic to solvophilic monomers. However, changes in temperature and/or solvent quality make it possible to reliably change the number and size of the attractive patches. This allows the steering of the mesoscopic self-assembly behaviour without modifying the microscopic constituents. Interestingly, we also demonstrate that diverse combinations of the parameters can generate stars with the same number of patches but different radial and angular stiffness. This mechanism could provide a neat way of further fine-tuning the elastic properties of the supramolecular network without changing its topology. PMID:26467391

  20. Soft self-assembled nanoparticles with temperature-dependent properties

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rovigatti, Lorenzo; Capone, Barbara; Likos, Christos N.

    2016-02-01

    The fabrication of versatile building blocks that reliably self-assemble into desired ordered and disordered phases is amongst the hottest topics in contemporary materials science. To this end, microscopic units of varying complexity, aimed at assembling the target phases, have been thought, designed, investigated and built. Such a path usually requires laborious fabrication techniques, especially when specific functionalisation of the building blocks is required. Telechelic star polymers, i.e., star polymers made of a number of f di-block copolymers consisting of solvophobic and solvophilic monomers grafted on a central anchoring point, spontaneously self-assemble into soft patchy particles featuring attractive spots (patches) on the surface. Here we show that the tunability of such a system can be widely extended by controlling the physical and chemical parameters of the solution. Indeed, under fixed external conditions the self-assembly behaviour depends only on the number of arms and on the ratio of solvophobic to solvophilic monomers. However, changes in temperature and/or solvent quality make it possible to reliably change the number and size of the attractive patches. This allows the steering of the mesoscopic self-assembly behaviour without modifying the microscopic constituents. Interestingly, we also demonstrate that diverse combinations of the parameters can generate stars with the same number of patches but different radial and angular stiffness. This mechanism could provide a neat way of further fine-tuning the elastic properties of the supramolecular network without changing its topology.

  1. Order-Disorder Transition (ODT) in Micelle-Forming A-B/A and A-B/B Diblock Copolymer/Homopolymer Blends

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Dormidontova, Elena E.; Lodge, Timothy P.

    2002-03-01

    In the framework of strong segregation (Semenov-like) theory we consider the phase behavior and properties of solvent-free diblock copolymer/homopolymer blends. We consider the case in which the homopolymer is similar to either the A or B block of diblock copolymer. Addition of a homopolymer that is similar to the corona-forming block of the diblock copolymer decreases the ODT temperature and increases the temperature window corresponding to the stable disordered micelle state. Above some critical homopolymer concentration no ordered micelle state can be found. In the case that the added homopolymer is similar to the core-forming block macrophase separation plays an important role. In the framework of standard Flory-Huggins theory macrophase separation into ordered or disordered diblock copolymer micelle phase and pure homopolymer phase seems to be preferable to co-micellization of the homopolymers and diblock copolymers. In reality kinetic factors as well as surface interactions between co-existing phases can produce a metastable phase of ordered or disordered micelles formed by both diblock and homopolymers. We discuss the order-disorder and co-micellisation transitions for this case, the latter often having an anomalous character (very large initial miceller size) when the fraction of homopolymers is not too small.

  2. Arbitrary lattice symmetries via block copolymer nanomeshes

    PubMed Central

    Majewski, Pawel W.; Rahman, Atikur; Black, Charles T.; Yager, Kevin G.

    2015-01-01

    Self-assembly of block copolymers is a powerful motif for spontaneously forming well-defined nanostructures over macroscopic areas. Yet, the inherent energy minimization criteria of self-assembly give rise to a limited library of structures; diblock copolymers naturally form spheres on a cubic lattice, hexagonally packed cylinders and alternating lamellae. Here, we demonstrate multicomponent nanomeshes with any desired lattice symmetry. We exploit photothermal annealing to rapidly order and align block copolymer phases over macroscopic areas, combined with conversion of the self-assembled organic phase into inorganic replicas. Repeated photothermal processing independently aligns successive layers, providing full control of the size, symmetry and composition of the nanoscale unit cell. We construct a variety of symmetries, most of which are not natively formed by block copolymers, including squares, rhombuses, rectangles and triangles. In fact, we demonstrate all possible two-dimensional Bravais lattices. Finally, we elucidate the influence of nanostructure on the electrical and optical properties of nanomeshes. PMID:26100566

  3. Extraordinary boundary morphologies of large-scale ordered domains of spheres in thin films of a narrowly dispersed diblock copolymer via thermodynamic control.

    PubMed

    Shi, Ling-Ying; Li, Hang; Lei, Wei-Wei; Ni, Wei; Ran, Rong; Pan, Yu; Fan, Xing-He; Shen, Zhihao

    2015-11-14

    Long-range ordering of body centered cubic (BCC) spheres and various extraordinary morphologies at the boundaries of the adjacent orderly oriented domains are observed in thermally annealed thin films of a series of specific narrowly dispersed diblock copolymers, poly(dimethylsiloxane)-b-poly{2,5-bis[(4-butoxyphenyl)oxycarbonylstyrene} (PDMS-b-PBPCS, DB). The series of asymmetrical DB block copolymers (BCPs) with volume fractions of PDMS (f(PDMS)'s) from 10% to 23% self-assemble into thermodynamically stable body centered cubic (BCC) nanostructures in bulk at ambient temperature after thermal annealing. The thin films of these BCPs with a relatively large film thickness on a carbon-film coated substrate are annealed in a vacuum at 180 °C for 3 days and are characterized by transmission electron microscopy (TEM) and X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS). For all thin films of these BCPs, micrometer-scale domains with a rectangular unit cell similar to the projection of the BCC lattice along the [110] direction to the substrate are observed. And the XPS results indicate that the surface layers of the thin films are composed of both PDMS and PBPCS blocks. For the thin films of the BCPs with f(PDMS) values of 10% and 13%, the neighboring [110]-oriented BCC domains match well with each other, and the boundaries are defect-free. For the thin film of the BCP with a f(PDMS) value of 23%, the PDMS spheres in the [110]-oriented BCC domains in the TEM micrograph are overlapped with each other, and interesting morphologies including defect-free interfaces, interfaces with line defects, and domains with defects and local ordering are observed at the boundaries of the neighboring [110]-oriented domains. PMID:26456491

  4. Diblock copolymers of polystyrene-b-poly(1,3-cyclohexadiene) exhibiting unique three-phase microdomain morphologies

    DOE PAGESBeta

    Misichronis, Konstantinos; Chen, Jihua; Kahk, Jong K.; Imel, Adam; Dadmun, Mark; Hong, Kunlun; Hadjichristidis, Nikos; Mays, Jimmy W.; Avgeropoulos, Apostolos

    2016-03-29

    Here, the synthesis and molecular characterization of a series of conformationally asymmetric polystyrene-block-poly(1,3-cyclohexadiene) (PS-b-PCHD) diblock copolymers (PCHD: ~90% 1,4 and ~10% 1,2), by sequential anionic copolymerization high vacuum techniques, is reported. A wide range of volume fractions (0.27 ≤ ΦPS ≤ 0.91) was studied by transmission electron microscopy and small-angle X-ray scattering in order to explore in detail the microphase separation behavior of these flexible/semiflexible diblock copolymers. Unusual morphologies, consisting of PCHD core(PCHD-1,4)–shell(PCHD-1,2) cylinders in PS matrix and three-phase (PS, PCHD-1,4, PCHD-1,2) four-layer lamellae, were observed suggesting that the chain stiffness of the PCHD block and the strong dependence ofmore » the interaction parameter χ on the PCHD microstructures are important factors for the formation of this unusual microphase separation behavior in PS-b-PCHD diblock copolymers. © 2016 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. J. Polym. Sci., Part B: Polym. Phys. 2016, 54, 1564–1572« less

  5. Influence of composition fluctuations on the linear viscoelastic properties of symmetric diblock copolymers near the order-disorder transition

    SciTech Connect

    Hickey, Robert J.; Gillard, Timothy M.; Lodge, Timothy P.; Bates, Frank S.

    2015-08-28

    Rheological evidence of composition fluctuations in disordered diblock copolymers near the order disorder transition (ODT) has been documented in the literature over the past three decades, characterized by a failure of time–temperature superposition (tTS) to reduce linear dynamic mechanical spectroscopy (DMS) data in the terminal viscoelastic regime to a temperature-independent form. However, for some materials, most notably poly(styrene-b-isoprene) (PS–PI), no signature of these rheological features has been found. We present small-angle X-ray scattering (SAXS) results on symmetric poly(cyclohexylethylene-b-ethylene) (PCHE–PE) diblock copolymers that confirm the presence of fluctuations in the disordered state and DMS measurements that also show no sign of the features ascribed to composition fluctuations. Assessment of DMS results published on five different diblock copolymer systems leads us to conclude that the effects of composition fluctuations can be masked by highly asymmetric block dynamics, thereby resolving a long-standing disagreement in the literature and reinforcing the importance of mechanical contrast in understanding the dynamics of ordered and disordered block polymers.

  6. Bimodal mesoporous carbon synthesized from large organic precursor and amphiphilic tri-block copolymer by self assembly

    SciTech Connect

    Saha, Dipendu; Contescu, Cristian I; Gallego, Nidia C

    2012-01-01

    Owing to several disadvantages of traditional hard template based synthesis, soft-template or self-assembly was adopted to synthesize mesoporous carbon. In this work, we have introduced hexaphenol as a new and large organic precursor for the synthesis of mesoporous carbon by self-assembly with pluronic P123 as structure dictating agent. The resultant mesoporous carbon is bimodal in nature with median pore widths of 29 and 45 and BET surface area of 312 m2/g. Unlike previously synthesized mesoporous carbon, this carbon possesses negligible micropore volume. This mesoporous carbon is very suitable candidate for several applications including membrane separation, chemical sensor or selective sorption of larger molecules.

  7. pH-responsive diblock copolymer micelles at the silica/aqueous solution interface: Adsorption kinetics and equilibrium studies.

    PubMed

    Sakai, Kenichi; Smith, Emelyn G; Webber, Grant B; Schatz, Christophe; Wanless, Erica J; Bütün, Vural; Armes, Steven P; Biggs, Simon

    2006-08-01

    The adsorption behavior of two examples of a weakly basic diblock copolymer, poly(2-(dimethylamino)ethyl methacrylate)-block-poly(2-(diethylamino)ethyl methacrylate) (PDMA-PDEA), at the silica/aqueous solution interface has been investigated using a quartz crystal microbalance with dissipation monitoring and an optical reflectometer. Dynamic and static light scattering measurements have also been carried out to assess aqueous solution properties of such pH-responsive copolymers. In alkaline solution, core-shell micelles are formed above the critical micelle concentration (cmc) by both copolymers, whereas the chains are molecularly dissolved (as unimers) at all concentrations in acidic solution. As a result, the adsorption behavior of PDMA-PDEA diblock copolymers on silica is strongly dependent on both the copolymer concentration and the solution pH. Below the cmc at pH 9, the cationic PDMA-PDEA copolymers adsorb as unimers and the conformation of the adsorbed polymer is essentially flat. At concentrations just above the cmc, the initial adsorption of copolymer onto the silica is dominated by the unimers due to their faster diffusion compared to the much larger micelles. Rearrangement of the adsorbed unimers and/or their subsequent displacement by micelles from solution is then observed during an equilibration period, and the final adsorbed mass is greater than that observed below the cmc. At concentrations well above the cmc, the much higher proportion of micelles in solution facilitates more effective competition for the surface at all stages of the adsorption process and no replacement of initially adsorbed unimers by micelles is evident. However, the adsorbed layer undergoes gradual rearrangement after initial adsorption. This relaxation is believed to result from a combination of further copolymer adsorption and swelling of the adsorbed layer. PMID:16869582

  8. Substrate effect on nanoporous structure of silica wires by channel-confined self-assembly of block-copolymer and sol-gel precursors

    DOE PAGESBeta

    Hu, Michael Z.; Lai, Peng

    2015-09-22

    Nanoporous silica wires of various wire diameters were developed by space-confined molecular self-assembly of triblock copolymer ethylene/propylene/ethylene (P123) and silica alkoxide precursor (tetraethylorthosilicate, TEOS). Two distinctive hard-templating substrates, anodized aluminum oxide (AAO) and track-etched polycarbonate (EPC), with channel diameters in the range between 10 nm and 200 nm were employed for space-confinement of soft molecular self-assembly driven by the block-copolymer microphase separation. It was observed in the scanning and transmission electron microscope (STEM) studies that the substrate geometry and material characteristics had pronounced effects on the structure and morphology of the silica nanowires. A substrate wall effect was proposed tomore » explain the ordering and orientation of the intra-wire mesostructure. Circular and spiral nanostructures were found only in wires formed in AAO substrate, not in EPC. Pore-size differences and distinctive wall morphologies of the nanowires relating to the substrates were discussed. It was shown that the material and channel wall characteristics of different substrates play key roles in the ordering and morphology of the intra-wire nanostructures.« less

  9. One-Pot Synthesis of Double Poly(Ionic Liquid) Block Copolymers by Cobalt-Mediated Radical Polymerization-Induced Self-Assembly (CMR-PISA) in Water.

    PubMed

    Cordella, Daniela; Debuigne, Antoine; Jérôme, Christine; Kochovski, Zdravko; Taton, Daniel; Detrembleur, Christophe

    2016-07-01

    Amphiphilic double poly(ionic liquid) (PIL) block copolymers are directly prepared by cobalt-mediated radical polymerization induced self-assembly (CMR-PISA) in water of N-vinyl imidazolium monomers carrying distinct alkyl chains. The cobalt-mediated radical polymerization of N-vinyl-3-ethyl imidazolium bromide (VEtImBr) is first carried out until high conversion in water at 30 °C, using an alkyl bis(acetylacetonate)cobalt(III) adduct as initiator and controlling agent. The as-obtained hydrophilic poly(N-vinyl-3-ethyl imidazolium bromide) (PVEtImBr) is then used as a macroinitiator for the CMR-PISA of N-vinyl-3-octyl imidazolium bromide (VOcImBr). Self-assembly of the amphiphilic PVEtImBr-b-PVOcImBr block copolymer, i.e., of PIL-b-PIL-type, rapidly takes place in water, forming polymer nanoparticles consisting of a hydrophilic PVEtImBr corona and a hydrophobic PVOcImBr core. Preliminary investigation into the effect of the size of the hydrophobic block on the dimension of the nanoparticles is also described. PMID:26991998

  10. Substrate effect on nanoporous structure of silica wires by channel-confined self-assembly of block-copolymer and sol-gel precursors

    SciTech Connect

    Hu, Michael Z.; Lai, Peng

    2015-09-22

    Nanoporous silica wires of various wire diameters were developed by space-confined molecular self-assembly of triblock copolymer ethylene/propylene/ethylene (P123) and silica alkoxide precursor (tetraethylorthosilicate, TEOS). Two distinctive hard-templating substrates, anodized aluminum oxide (AAO) and track-etched polycarbonate (EPC), with channel diameters in the range between 10 nm and 200 nm were employed for space-confinement of soft molecular self-assembly driven by the block-copolymer microphase separation. It was observed in the scanning and transmission electron microscope (STEM) studies that the substrate geometry and material characteristics had pronounced effects on the structure and morphology of the silica nanowires. A substrate wall effect was proposed to explain the ordering and orientation of the intra-wire mesostructure. Circular and spiral nanostructures were found only in wires formed in AAO substrate, not in EPC. Pore-size differences and distinctive wall morphologies of the nanowires relating to the substrates were discussed. It was shown that the material and channel wall characteristics of different substrates play key roles in the ordering and morphology of the intra-wire nanostructures.

  11. A facile method for construction of antifouling surfaces by self-assembled polymeric monolayers of PEG-silane copolymers formed in aqueous medium.

    PubMed

    Park, Sangjin; Chi, Young Shik; Choi, Insung S; Seong, Jiehyun; Jon, Sangyong

    2006-11-01

    Self-assembled polymeric monolayers (PMs) on Si/SiO2 wafers were prepared in water from a series of random copolymers of poly(ethylene glycol) methyl ether methacrylate (PEGMA) and 3-(trimethoxysilyl)propyl methacrylate (TMSMA), denoted as poly(TMSMA-r-PEGMA). Four polymers of poly(TMSMA-r-PEGMA) were synthesized by free radical polymerization with a systematic variation of co-monomer feed ratios. Regardless of PEG grafting density in the copolymers, all PMs formed approximately 1 nm-thick film as measured by ellipsometry. However, the PMs with a higher grafting density of PEG resulted in more hydrophilic surfaces in terms of water contact angle. The protein resistance of the PMs was evaluated using bovine serum albumin (BSA) as a model protein. Analyses by ellipsometry, atomic force microscopy (AFM), and X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS) showed that the PMs of the copolymers markedly reduced the nonspecific adsorption of proteins compared to the unmodified Si/SiO2 wafers. The study also revealed that the PMs prepared from the copolymers with a higher PEG grafting density were more effective in resisting the nonspecific protein adsorption. PMID:17252800

  12. Chemical modifications to vesicle forming diblock copolymers: Development of smart functional polymersome membranes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Katz, Joshua S.

    2011-07-01

    A major limitation to current treatment regimens for diseases is the inability to adequately deliver therapeutics. Many routes to encapsulation of these materials have been explored to improve biodistribution and better protect encapsulants from harsh biological conditions. One vehicle particularly attractive for encapsulation of such materials is the polymersome. While promising for translation to clinical use, there are still limitations in polymer chemistry and resulting polymersome behavior that will slow their adaptation. This thesis addresses several of these limitations. The first major limitation to polymersomes is lack of control over their release rate. Release is generally by simple diffusion, leading to a burst. To address this burst, Aim 1 proposes a route to stabilizing polymersome membranes through their polymerization. PCL-PEG copolymers were terminally acrylated and the acrylates polymerized in the membrane following vesicle assembly. Polymerization enhanced mechanical robustness of the membranes and reduced diffusion of encapsulated contents. To ultimately trigger release, Aim 2 presents a novel route to synthesizing diblock copolymers, enabling insertion of a functional group at the blocks' junction. To facilitate triggering of release, we inserted UV-cleavable 2-nitrophenylalanine. Polymersomes assembled from this polymer collapse upon exposure to light and molecules release. Demonstrating further utility of this synthetic route, fluorescent vesicles were prepared using fluorescent lysine as the joining molecule. These vesicles labeled dendritic cells, providing a novel route to cell labeling and tracking. The second limitation to vesicles promising for biomedical applications (made of PCL-PEG) is their solid membranes. Aim 3 demonstrates partial (or full) replacement of the PCL block with a caprolactone analogue, TOSUO, which is non-crystalline and assembles into soft, deformable vesicles. Increasing TOSUO content in the copolymer leads to

  13. Carbon nanotubes with small and tunable diameters from poly(ferrocenylsilane)-block-polysiloxane diblock copolymers.

    PubMed

    Lu, Jennifer Q; Rider, David A; Onyegam, Emanuel; Wang, Hai; Winnik, Mitchell A; Manners, Ian; Cheng, Qian; Fu, Qiang; Liu, Jie

    2006-05-23

    Iron-containing nanostructures produced from various self-assembled poly(ferrocenylsilane)-block-polysiloxane thin films are catalytically active for the initiation and growth of high density, small diameter carbon nanotubes (CNTs). Moreover, the tube diameter and density can be tuned by adjusting the chain lengths of the block copolymer. Iron-containing nanostructures from poly(ferrocenylmethylethylsilane)-b-poly(methylvinylsiloxane) polymer with 25 repeat units of an iron-containing segment and 265 repeat units of a non-iron-containing segment are able to produce CNTs with diameters around or less than 1 nm. Lithographically selective growth of CNTs across a large surface area has been demonstrated using this polymer system. Under the same growth condition, it has been found that the yield of defect-free CNTs varies with the size of the catalytically active nanostructures, which are dictated by the chain lengths of the two blocks. This result indicates that, for a specific-sized catalyst nanocluster, a unique set of growth conditions is required for synthesizing high yield, defect-free CNTs. This finding further addresses the importance of using uniform-sized catalyst-containing nanostructures for consistently achieving high-yield and high-quality CNTs with a minimum number of defects and amount of amorphous carbon. PMID:16700610

  14. Characterization of Diblock Copolymer Order-Order Transitions in Semidilute Aqueous Solution Using Fluorescence Correlation Spectroscopy.

    PubMed

    Clarkson, Christopher G; Lovett, Joseph R; Madsen, Jeppe; Armes, Steven P; Geoghegan, Mark

    2015-09-01

    The temperature and pH-dependent diffusion of poly(glycerol monomethacrylate)-block-poly(2-hydroxypropyl methacrylate) nanoparticles prepared via polymerization-induced self-assembly in water is characterized using fluorescence correlation spectroscopy (FCS). Lowering the solution temperature or raising the solution pH induces a worm-to-sphere transition and hence an increase in diffusion coefficient by a factor of between four and eight. FCS enables morphological transitions to be monitored at relatively high copolymer concentrations (10% w/w) compared to those required for dynamic light scattering (0.1% w/w). This is important because such transitions are reversible at the former concentration, whereas they are irreversible at the latter. Furthermore, the FCS data suggest that the thermal transition takes place over a very narrow temperature range (less than 2 °C). These results demonstrate the application of FCS to characterize order-order transitions, as opposed to order-disorder transitions. PMID:26096738

  15. Determination of Effective Particle Density for Sterically Stabilized Carbon Black Particles: Effect of Diblock Copolymer Stabilizer Composition.

    PubMed

    Growney, David J; Fowler, Patrick W; Mykhaylyk, Oleksandr O; Fielding, Lee A; Derry, Matthew J; Aragrag, Najib; Lamb, Gordon D; Armes, Steven P

    2015-08-18

    Two poly(styrene-b-hydrogenated isoprene) (PS-PEP) copolymers and a poly(styrene-b-hydrogenated butadiene) (PS-PB) diblock copolymer of differing polystyrene content (20, 28 or 35 mol %) and molecular weight (117-183 kg mol(-1)) are examined. These copolymers form star-like micelles in n-dodecane, as judged by TEM, DLS, and SAXS studies. At ambient temperature, such micelles are known to adsorb intact onto a model colloidal substrate such as carbon black, conferring a high degree of dispersion (Growney, D. J.; Mykhaylyk, O. O.; Armes, S. P. Langmuir 2014, 30, 6047). Isotherms for micellar adsorption on carbon black at 20 °C are constructed using a supernatant depletion assay based on UV spectroscopy by utilizing the aromatic chromophore in the polystyrene block. Perhaps surprisingly, the diblock copolymer with the lowest polystyrene content has the strongest affinity for the carbon black particles. Assuming that the star-like diblock copolymer micelles adsorb onto carbon black to form hemi-micelles with a stabilizer layer thickness equal to the mean micelle radius, the effective particle density of the resulting sterically stabilized carbon black particles in n-dodecane can be estimated from the SAXS micelle dimensions based on geometric considerations. As an approximation, a spherical core-shell morphology was assumed, and the primary grain size of the carbon black particles was determined to be 74 nm diameter as judged by BET surface area analysis. Using this approach, effective particle densities of 0.90, 0.91, and 0.92 g cm(-3) were calculated for sterically stabilized carbon black particles prepared using the PS-PB20, PS-PEP28, and PS-PEP35 diblock copolymers, respectively. These densities are significantly lower than that of carbon black (1.89 g cm(-3)), which indicates that the sterically stabilized carbon black particles are substantially solvated. Since the rate of sedimentation of the sterically stabilized carbon black particles depends on the density

  16. Side-chain amino-acid-based pH-responsive self-assembled block copolymers for drug delivery and gene transfer.

    PubMed

    Kumar, Sonu; Acharya, Rituparna; Chatterji, Urmi; De, Priyadarsi

    2013-12-10

    Developing safe and effective nanocarriers for multitype of delivery system is advantageous for several kinds of successful biomedicinal therapy with the same carrier. In the present study, we have designed amino acid biomolecules derived hybrid block copolymers which can act as a promising vehicle for both drug delivery and gene transfer. Two representative natural chiral amino acid-containing (l-phenylalanine and l-alanine) vinyl monomers were polymerized via reversible addition-fragmentation chain transfer (RAFT) process in the presence of monomethoxy poly(ethylene glycol) based macro-chain transfer agents (mPEGn-CTA) for the synthesis of well-defined side-chain amino-acid-based amphiphilic block copolymers, monomethoxy poly(ethylene glycol)-b-poly(Boc-amino acid methacryloyloxyethyl ester) (mPEGn-b-P(Boc-AA-EMA)). The self-assembled micellar aggregation of these amphiphilic block copolymers were studied by fluorescence spectroscopy, atomic force microscopy (AFM) and scanning electron microscopy (SEM). Potential applications of these hybrid polymers as drug carrier have been demonstrated in vitro by encapsulation of nile red dye or doxorubicin drug into the core of the micellar nanoaggregates. Deprotection of side-chain Boc- groups in the amphiphilic block copolymers subsequently transformed them into double hydrophilic pH-responsive cationic block copolymers having primary amino groups in the side-chain terminal. The DNA binding ability of these cationic block copolymers were further investigated by using agarose gel retardation assay and AFM. The in vitro cytotoxicity assay demonstrated their biocompatible nature and these polymers can serve as "smart" materials for promising bioapplications. PMID:24274731

  17. Fluorescence from an azobenzene-containing diblock copolymer micelle in solution.

    PubMed

    Bo, Qi; Zhao, Yue

    2007-05-01

    We report the observation of unusual fluorescence emission from an azobenzene-containing polymer micellar solution. An amphiphilic diblock copolymer composed of the hydrophilic quaternized poly(4-vinyl pyridine) (QP4VP) and a hydrophobic liquid crystalline polymethacrylate bearing azobenzene side groups (PAzoMA) is nonfluorescent in molecularly dissolved state in N,N-dimethyl formamide (DMF) but becomes fluorescent as a result of the micellization upon addition of water, which confines azobenzene groups into the core region of micellar aggregates. Experimental results suggest that the micellization-enhanced fluorescence was caused by a slowdown, due to the confinement effect, in the rate of the trans-to-cis photoisomerization that is the main nonradiative relaxation process for excited azobenzene groups in the trans form. Furthermore, it was found that the fluorescence intensity of aqueous micellar solution is sensitive to changes in pH (reversible fluorescence variation) and to illumination (irreversible fluorescence variation). The results indicate that a subtle change in the state of polymer micellar association may alter the confining state of azobenzene groups responsible for the fluorescence emission. PMID:17407334

  18. Morphology-Conductivity Relationship in Salt-containing Diblock Copolymer/Homopolymer Mixtures

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Irwin, Matthew; Hickey, Robert

    2015-03-01

    In order to unravel how ion conductivity is affected by material morphology, a model system of polystyrene (PS), poly(ethylene oxide) (PEO), PS-block-PEO, and lithium bis(trifluoromethylsulfonyl)imide (LiTFSI) was fabricated and characterized. These pseudo-ternary polymer blends, in which the lithium salt associates nearly exclusively with the ethylene oxide, have the potential to form a variety of morphologies such as lamellae and the three-dimensionally interpenetrating bicontinuous microemulsion by simply changing blend composition. Similar to what has been observed in salt-containing diblock copolymers, both the order-disorder transition (ODT) temperature and the ODT temperature window of these blends increase sharply with salt loading. By modulating the relative volume fraction of the homopolymers in the blends, it was shown that, although less than order-of-magnitude changes in the domain spacing do not appreciably affect ion conductivity, some morphologies can result in significantly better conductivity than others. These results outline what factors matter most when designing polymer electrolytes for applications such as rechargeable lithium metal batteries and proton exchange membranes.

  19. On the order-disorder transition of compressible diblock copolymer melts

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zong, Jing; Wang, Qiang

    2015-11-01

    We performed both the fast off-lattice Monte Carlo simulations of symmetric diblock copolymers (DBC) in an isothermal-isobaric ensemble and the self-consistent field calculations of asymmetric DBC to properly determine the order-disorder transition (ODT) of a model system of compressible DBC melts used in the literature when it is a first-order phase transition, and studied for the first time the co-existence of the two phases at ODT. We found that the co-existing region is quite small and decreases as the system becomes less compressible, which justifies the previous ODT results obtained by equating the Helmholtz free energy per chain of the two phases. We also found that for the most compressible system where there is no repulsion between the same type of segments, the self-consistent field theory predicts that ODT is a second-order phase transition even for asymmetric DBC melts due to its mean-field approximation.

  20. On the order-disorder transition of compressible diblock copolymer melts.

    PubMed

    Zong, Jing; Wang, Qiang

    2015-11-14

    We performed both the fast off-lattice Monte Carlo simulations of symmetric diblock copolymers (DBC) in an isothermal-isobaric ensemble and the self-consistent field calculations of asymmetric DBC to properly determine the order-disorder transition (ODT) of a model system of compressible DBC melts used in the literature when it is a first-order phase transition, and studied for the first time the co-existence of the two phases at ODT. We found that the co-existing region is quite small and decreases as the system becomes less compressible, which justifies the previous ODT results obtained by equating the Helmholtz free energy per chain of the two phases. We also found that for the most compressible system where there is no repulsion between the same type of segments, the self-consistent field theory predicts that ODT is a second-order phase transition even for asymmetric DBC melts due to its mean-field approximation. PMID:26567680

  1. Effect of mobile ions on the electric field needed to orient charged diblock copolymer thin films

    SciTech Connect

    Dehghan, Ashkan; Shi, An-Chang; Schick, M.

    2015-10-07

    We examine the behavior of lamellar phases of charged/neutral diblock copolymer thin films containing mobile ions in the presence of an external electric field. We employ self-consistent field theory and focus on the aligning effect of the electric field on the lamellae. Of particular interest are the effects of the mobile ions on the critical field, the value required to reorient the lamellae from the parallel configuration favored by the surface interaction to the perpendicular orientation favored by the field. We find that the critical field depends strongly on whether the neutral or charged species is favored by the substrates. In the case in which the neutral species is favored, the addition of charges decreases the critical electric field significantly. The effect is greater when the mobile ions are confined to the charged lamellae. In contrast, when the charged species is favored by the substrate, the addition of mobile ions stabilizes the parallel configuration and thus results in an increase in the critical electric field. The presence of ions in the system introduces a new mixed phase in addition to those reported previously.

  2. Effects of amphiphilic diblock copolymer on drug nanoparticle formation and stability

    PubMed Central

    Zhu, Zhengxi

    2013-01-01

    This study systematically compares the effects of amphiphilic diblock copolymer (di-BCP) on stabilizing hydrophobic drug nanoparticles formed by flash nanoprecipitation (FNP), and provides a guideline on choosing suitable di-BCPs. Four widely used di-BCPs, i.e., polystyrene-block-poly(ethylene glycol) (PS-b-PEG), polycaprolactone-block-poly(ethylene glycol) (PCL-b-PEG), polylactide-block-poly(ethylene glycol) (PLA-b-PEG), and poly(lactic-co-glycolic acid) (PLGA-b-PEG), and β-carotene as a model drug were used. The study showed that PLGA-b-PEG was the most suitable one, whose hydrophobic block was biodegradable and noncrystallizable as well as had relatively high glass transition temperature (Tg) and a right solubility parameter (δ). The molecular weight of PLGA block over the range from 5k to 15k showed an insignificant effect on controlling the particle size. Amorphous drug particles with a high drug loading of over 83 wt% can be achieved. Much remarkable evidence supported the nanoparticles with kinetically frozen and nonequilibrium packing structures of polymer chains rather than either the micelles or micellar nanoparticles with two well segregated polymer blocks. The thermodynamic effects of the drug and BCP on the particle stability, size and structures were discussed by using solubility parameters. PMID:24070569

  3. Conductive polymer patterned media fabricated by diblock copolymer lithography for scanning multiprobe data storage.

    PubMed

    Yoshida, Shinya; Ono, Takahito; Esashi, Masayoshi

    2008-11-26

    A conductive polymer dot pattern has been fabricated as a patterned medium using diblock copolymer lithography (DCL) for scanning multiprobe data storage systems (SMDSSs). DCL can easily provide a higher dots pattern density than that obtained using electron beam lithography. For DCL, the microphase-separated structure of polystyrene-block-polymethylmethacrylate is utilized. Then, the closed dot pattern of polyaniline (PANI) with a center to center distance of adjacent dots of 30 nm is fabricated by DCL. Electrical modification experiments of the fabricated PANI dots are demonstrated using scanning probe microscopy (SPM). As a result, the conductivities of the modified dots are selectively changed by applying modification voltages with the tip of the SPM probe. Recording on the conductive polymer with 30 nm pitch at the minimum can be demonstrated, which corresponds to a recording density of ∼700 Gbits inch(-2). These results show that the conductive polymer patterned medium has the potential ability to achieve high-density recording for SMDSSs. PMID:21836269

  4. On the order-disorder transition of compressible diblock copolymer melts

    SciTech Connect

    Zong, Jing; Wang, Qiang

    2015-11-14

    We performed both the fast off-lattice Monte Carlo simulations of symmetric diblock copolymers (DBC) in an isothermal-isobaric ensemble and the self-consistent field calculations of asymmetric DBC to properly determine the order-disorder transition (ODT) of a model system of compressible DBC melts used in the literature when it is a first-order phase transition, and studied for the first time the co-existence of the two phases at ODT. We found that the co-existing region is quite small and decreases as the system becomes less compressible, which justifies the previous ODT results obtained by equating the Helmholtz free energy per chain of the two phases. We also found that for the most compressible system where there is no repulsion between the same type of segments, the self-consistent field theory predicts that ODT is a second-order phase transition even for asymmetric DBC melts due to its mean-field approximation.

  5. Kinetics and Dynamics of HEX to Gyroid Transition of a Diblock Copolymer in Selective Solvent

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Spring, Julian; Liu, Yongsheng; Bansil, Rama

    2011-03-01

    Synchrotron based time-resolved small angle x-ray scattering (SAXS) was used to study the kinetics of the formation of a gyroid phase in solutions of a poly (styrene -isoprene) diblock copolymer in dimethyl phthalate, a selective solvent for the polystyrene block. From temperature ramp measurements on an 80% (w/v) sample, a hexagonally-packed cylinders (HEX) phase was identifed below 95 C,while a gyroid formed above 95C. The kinetics of the transitions from HEX to gyroid was examined using temperature jump and ramp experiments over the temperature range of 50-150C. In addition, x-ray photon correlation spectroscopy was used to study the dynamics of the HEX and Gyroid phases, as well as the transition regime. Analysis of the time evolution of the Bragg peaks to follow the kinetics of the transition between these phases will be presented, in addition to analysis of the dynamics of this sample throughout the phase space under investigation. The formation of the Gyroid structure was also modeled using Molecular Dynamics (MD) simulations, and the results of these simulations will also be presented.

  6. Fluctuation/correlation effects in symmetric diblock copolymers: on the order-disorder transition.

    PubMed

    Zong, Jing; Wang, Qiang

    2013-09-28

    Using fast off-lattice Monte Carlo simulations with experimentally accessible fluctuations, we reported the first systematic study unambiguously quantifying the shift of the order-disorder transition (ODT) χ* of symmetric diblock copolymers from the mean-field prediction χ(MF)*. Our simulations are performed in a canonical ensemble with variable box lengths to eliminate the restriction of periodic boundary conditions on the lamellar period, and give the most accurate data of χ* and bulk lamellar period reported to date. Exactly the same model system (Hamiltonian) is used in both our simulations and mean-field theory; the ODT shift is therefore due to the fluctuations/correlations neglected by the latter. While χ*/χ(MF)*-1∝N(-k) is found with N denoting the invariant degree of polymerization, k decreases around the N-value corresponding to the face-centered cubic close packing of polymer segments as hard spheres, indicating the short-range correlation effects. PMID:24089804

  7. Water Diffusion Dependence on Amphiphilic Block Design in (Amphiphilic-Hydrophobic) Diblock Copolymer Membranes.

    PubMed

    Dorenbos, Gert

    2016-06-30

    Polyelectrolyte membranes (PEMs) are applied in polyelectrolyte fuel cells (PEFC). The proton conductive pathways within PEMs are provided by nanometer-sized water containing pores. Large-scale application of PEFC requires the production of low-cost membranes with high proton conductivity and therefore good connected pore networks. Pore network formation within four alternative model diblock (hydrophobic_amphiphilic) copolymers in the presence of water is studied by dissipative particle dynamics. Each hydrophobic block contains 50 consecutively connected hydrophobic (A) fragments, and amphiphilic blocks contain 40 hydrophobic A beads and 10 hydrophilic C beads. For one amphiphilic block the C beads are distributed uniformly along the backbone. For the other architectures C beads are located at the end of the side chains attached at regular intervals along the backbone. Water diffusion through the pores is modeled by Monte Carlo tracer diffusion through mapped morphologies. Diffusion is highest for the grafted architectures and increases with increase of length of the side chains. A consistent picture emerges in which diffusion strongly increases with the value of ⟨Nbond⟩ within the amphiphilic block, where ⟨Nbond⟩ is the average number of bonds between hydrophobic A beads and the nearest C bead. PMID:27266679

  8. Selective Stabilization of the Fddd Diblock Copolymer Microphase in an Applied Electric Field

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Martin, Jonathan; Li, Wei; Delaney, Kris; Fredrickson, Glenn

    Using self-consistent field theory, we explore the phase behavior of AB diblock copolymer melts in a uniform applied electric field. We assign an isotropic polarizability to each monomer type, such that the electric field selectively destabilizes AB interfaces that are perpendicular to the applied field. Under the mean-field approximation of the present model, lamellar and cylindrical structures align such that their AB interfaces are parallel to the electric field, and their relative stability with respect to the disordered phase is unchanged. Sphere and network phases do not have an axis of uniformity, so the preferred orientation for each of these phases must be identified by simulation. Small distortions in morphology are induced by the electric field for these phases, such that the free energy response includes non-harmonic terms. We compute the phase diagram for a melt in an applied electric field by comparing free energies of each morphology at its preferred orientation. We find that the stability regions for the sphere and network phases shrink with increasing electric field strength. Moreover, the double gyroid phase is relatively destabilized against the Fddd phase, extending the stability region for the Fddd phase to larger segregation strengths.

  9. Tethered Chains in Poor Solvent Conditions: An Experimental Study Involving Langmuir Diblock Copolymer Monolayers

    SciTech Connect

    Kent, M.S.; Lee, L.T.; Majewski, J.; Satija, S.; Smith, G.S.

    1998-10-13

    We have employed Langmuir monolayer of highly asymmetric polydimethylsiloxane- polystyrene (PDMS-PS) diblock copolymers on dioctyl phthalate (DOP) at temperatures ranging from 22 "C to -35 `C as a model system for tethered chains in poor solvent conditions. The thicknesses of the tethered PS layers extending into the DOP subphase, measured by neutron reflection, decrease with decreasing temperature (T) over this entire r~ge. However, the v~iation with T becomes weak below -20 "C. At the ]owest T, the layer thicknesses are contracted 55 % -75 `% of their values at the theta condition (T8 = 22 "C), but are still quite swollen compared to the fully collapsed, nonsolvent limit. The contraction of the layer with decreasing T is determined as a function of surface density and molecular weight. These data are compared to universal scaling forms. The PS segments are depleted from the air surface over the entire T range, the thickness of the depletion layer increasing slightly with decreasing T. The free energy of the surface layer is probed by surface tension measurements. Negative surface pressures are observed at low coverages for both PDMS-PS and PDMS monolayer, indicating metastability toward lateral phase separation. Evidence for a trruisition from a dispersed phase to a condensed phase with decreasing T was observed in the reflectivity at very low PDMS-PS coverage.

  10. Incorporating Diblock Copolymer Nanoparticles into Calcite Crystals: Do Anionic Carboxylate Groups Alone Ensure Efficient Occlusion?

    PubMed Central

    2016-01-01

    New spherical diblock copolymer nanoparticles were synthesized via RAFT aqueous dispersion polymerization of 2-hydroxypropyl methacrylate (HPMA) at 70 °C and 20% w/w solids using either poly(carboxybetaine methacrylate) or poly(proline methacrylate) as the steric stabilizer block. Both of these stabilizers contain carboxylic acid groups, but poly(proline methacrylate) is anionic above pH 9.2, whereas poly(carboxybetaine methacrylate) has zwitterionic character at this pH. When calcite crystals are grown at an initial pH of 9.5 in the presence of these two types of nanoparticles, it is found that the anionic poly(proline methacrylate)-stabilized particles are occluded uniformly throughout the crystals (up to 6.8% by mass, 14.0% by volume). In contrast, the zwitterionic poly(carboxybetaine methacrylate)-stabilized particles show no signs of occlusion into calcite crystals grown under identical conditions. The presence of carboxylic acid groups alone therefore does not guarantee efficient occlusion: overall anionic character is an additional prerequisite. PMID:27042383

  11. Polyelectrolyte Complex Hydrogels: Self-assembly and the Influence of Charged and Neutral Blocks

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Srivastava, Samanvaya; Goldfeld, David; Levi, Adam; Mao, Jun; Chen, Wei; Tirrell, Matthew

    Polyelectrolyte complexes (PEC) form when oppositely charged polyelectrolyte chains spontaneously associate and phase separate in aqueous mediums. Bulk phase separation of the PECs can be evaded by combining one or both of the polyelectrolytes with a neutral polymer, thus engineering pathways for self-assembled PEC micelles and hydrogels. The PEC domains in these assemblies can encapsulate therapeutics as well as genetic materials and thus have tremendous potential in drug delivery and tissue engineering applications. We will present insights on the equilibrium structure and self-assembly kinetics of PEC hydrogels with large-scale ordering of the nanoscale PEC domains through detailed structure characterization and rheology studies of self-assembled materials comprising of functionalized polyallyl glycidyl ethers (PAGE) connected to either single poly(ethylene glycol) (PEG) chain to form diblock copolymers or as functionalized end-groups on a triblock copolymer with a PEG midblock. The effect of key parameters such as polymer concentration, polymer block lengths, salt, ionic strength, and degree of charge mismatch on the equilibrium materials properties will be discussed, with a special emphasis on the structure-defining role of the charged blocks and the structure-directing role of neutral blocks. Additionally, interesting similarities, and differences between structures and dynamics of hydrogels comprising diblock and corresponding triblock polyelectrolytes, respectively, will be discussed.

  12. Block copolymer nanolithography for the fabrication of patterned media.

    SciTech Connect

    Warke, Vishal V; Bakker, Martin G; Hong, Kunlun; Mays, Jimmy; Britt, Phillip F; Li, Xuefa; Wang, Jin

    2008-01-01

    Abstract Bit patterned perpendicular media has the potential to increase the density of magnetic recording beyond what can be achieved by granular media. Self assembling diblock copolymers are of interest as templates for patterned media, as they potentially provide a low cost fabrication route. A method to fabricate the desired pattern using cylinder forming diblock copolymers of (PS-b-PMMA) as template is reported. Upon phase separation hexagonally packed cylinders of the minority phase (PMMA) surrounded by the continuous majority phase (PS) are obtained. The processing sequence began with spin coating the block copolymer on a suitable substrate, followed by annealing the block copolymer thin film in vacuum to orient it perpendicular to the substrate. Block copolymer templates were obtained by glacial acetic acid treatment which opened the pores in the block copolymer thin film. Ni was electrodeposited in the block copolymer templates and this pattern was then transferred onto the underlying substrate by ion milling

  13. Structure of Poly(3-(2'-ethyl)hexylthiophene) (P3EHT) Containing Diblock Copolymers Controlled via Thermal Processing

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Davidson, Emily; Segalman, Rachel

    Poly(3-alkylthiophene)s with modified alkyl side chains crystallize confined within block copolymer microphases, serving as a good model system for the confined crystallization of semiflexible polymers. We hypothesize that the diblock structure may impose an equilibrium degree of crystalline conjugated chain folding which here is only accessible for small degrees of undercooling. Crystallization of these P3ATs in soft confinement drives microdomain expansion; here, we show that this expansion is minimized for crystallization at small degrees of undercooling. Upon heating, domains return to their melt structure over three distinct regimes. These regimes directly correspond to thermal features we assign to the relaxation of a rigid-amorphous fraction at the diblock interface, melt-recrystallization which reorganizes the degree of chain folding, and a final complete melting transition.

  14. Amphiphilic PEO-b-PBLG diblock and PBLG-b-PEO-b-PBLG triblock copolymer based nanoparticles: doxorubicin loading and in vitro evaluation.

    PubMed

    Kakkar, Dipti; Mazzaferro, Silvia; Thevenot, Julie; Schatz, Christophe; Bhatt, Anant; Dwarakanath, Bilikere S; Singh, Harpal; Mishra, Anil K; Lecommandoux, Sebastien

    2015-01-01

    Huisgen's 1,3-dipolar cycloaddition ("Click Chemestry") has been used to prepare amphiphilic PEO-b-PBLG diblock and PBLG-b-PEO-b-PBLG triblock copolymers as potential carriers of anticancer drugs. Spherical and flower shaped micelles (D ≈ 100 nm) were obtained from diblock and triblock copolymers respectively. DOX was effectively encapsulated up to 18 wt.% and 50-60% of it was steadily released from the micelles over a period of 7 d. Flow cytometry and fluorescence microscopy confirmed the effective intracellular uptake as well as the sustained release of DOX from micelles. These results suggest that the diblock as well as triblock copolymers are promising carriers for intra-cellular drug delivery. PMID:25557884

  15. Crystallization in Ordered Polydisperse Polyolefin Diblock

    SciTech Connect

    Li, Sheng; Register, Richard A.; Landes, Brian G.; Hustad, Phillp D.; Weinhold, Jeffrey D.

    2010-08-27

    The morphologies of polydisperse ethylene-octene diblock copolymers, synthesized via a novel coordinative chain transfer polymerization process, are examined using two-dimensional synchrotron small-angle and wide-angle X-ray scattering on flow-aligned specimens. The diblock copolymers comprise one amorphous block with high 1-octene content and one semicrystalline block with relatively low 1-octene content, and each block ideally exhibits the most-probable distribution. Near-symmetric diblocks with a sufficiently large octene differential between the amorphous and semicrystalline blocks show well-ordered lamellar domain structures with long periods exceeding 100 nm. Orientation of these domain structures persists through multiple melting/recrystallization cycles, reflecting a robust structure which self-assembles in the melt. The domain spacings are nearly 3-fold larger than those in near-monodisperse polyethylene block copolymers of similar molecular weights. Although the well-ordered lamellar domain structure established in the melt is preserved in the solid state, the crystallites are isotropic in orientation. These materials display crystallization kinetics consistent with a spreading growth habit, indicating that the lamellae do not confine or template the growing crystals. The exceptionally large domain spacings and isotropic crystal growth are attributed to interblock mixing resulting from the large polydispersity; short hard blocks dissolved in the soft-block-rich domains swell the domain spacing in the melt and allow hard block crystallization to proceed across the lamellar domain interfaces.

  16. Short-range ordered photonic structures of lamellae-forming diblock copolymers for excitation-regulated fluorescence enhancement

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kim, Se Hee; Kim, Ki-Se; Char, Kookheon; Yoo, Seong Il; Sohn, Byeong-Hyeok

    2016-05-01

    Photonic crystals can be represented by periodic nanostructures with alternating refractive indices, which create artificial stop bands with the appearance of colors. In this regard, nanodomains of block copolymers and the corresponding structural colors have been intensively studied in the past. However, the practical application of photonic crystals of block copolymers has been limited to a large degree because of the presence of large defects and grain boundaries in the nanodomains of block copolymers. The present study focuses on the alternative opportunity of short-range ordered nanodomains of block copolymers for fluorescence enhancement, which also has a direct relevance to the development of fluorescence sensors or detectors. The enhancement mechanism was found to be interconnected with the excitation process rather than the alternation of the decay kinetics. In particular, we demonstrate that randomly oriented, but regular grains of lamellae of polystyrene-block-polyisoprene, PS-b-PI, diblock copolymers and their blend with PS homopolymers can behave as Bragg mirrors to induce multiple reflections of the excitation source inside the photonic structures. This process in turn significantly increases the effective absorption of the given fluorophores inside the polymeric photonic structures to amplify the fluorescence signal.Photonic crystals can be represented by periodic nanostructures with alternating refractive indices, which create artificial stop bands with the appearance of colors. In this regard, nanodomains of block copolymers and the corresponding structural colors have been intensively studied in the past. However, the practical application of photonic crystals of block copolymers has been limited to a large degree because of the presence of large defects and grain boundaries in the nanodomains of block copolymers. The present study focuses on the alternative opportunity of short-range ordered nanodomains of block copolymers for fluorescence

  17. The heat-chill method for preparation of self-assembled amphiphilic poly(ε-caprolactone)-poly(ethylene glycol) block copolymer based micellar nanoparticles for drug delivery.

    PubMed

    Payyappilly, Sanal Sebastian; Dhara, Santanu; Chattopadhyay, Santanu

    2014-04-01

    A new method is developed for preparation of amphiphilic block copolymer micellar nanoparticles and investigated as a delivery system for celecoxib, a hydrophobic model drug. Biodegradable block copolymers of poly(ethylene glycol) (PEG) and poly(ε-caprolactone) (PCL) were synthesized by ring opening copolymerization and characterized thoroughly using FTIR, (1)H NMR and GPC. The block copolymer was dispersed in distilled water at 60 °C and then it was chilled in an ice bath for the preparation of the micellar nanoparticles. Polymers self-assembled to form micellar nanoparticles (<50 nm) owing to their amphiphilic nature. The prepared micellar nanoparticles were analyzed using HR-TEM, DLS and DSC. The cytotoxicity of the polymer micellar nanoparticles was investigated against HaCaT cell lines. The study of celecoxib release from the micellar nanoparticles was carried out to assess their suitability as a drug delivery vehicle. Addition of the drug to the system at low temperature is an added advantage of this method compared to the other temperature assisted nanoparticle preparation techniques. In a nutshell, polymer micellar nanoparticles prepared using the heat-chill method are believed to be promising for the controlled drug release system of labile drugs, which degrade in toxic organic solvents and at higher temperatures. PMID:24651872

  18. Internal Nanoparticle Structure of Temperature-Responsive Self-Assembled PNIPAM-b-PEG-b-PNIPAM Triblock Copolymers in Aqueous Solutions: NMR, SANS, and Light Scattering Studies.

    PubMed

    Filippov, Sergey K; Bogomolova, Anna; Kaberov, Leonid; Velychkivska, Nadiia; Starovoytova, Larisa; Cernochova, Zulfiya; Rogers, Sarah E; Lau, Wing Man; Khutoryanskiy, Vitaliy V; Cook, Michael T

    2016-05-31

    In this study, we report detailed information on the internal structure of PNIPAM-b-PEG-b-PNIPAM nanoparticles formed from self-assembly in aqueous solutions upon increase in temperature. NMR spectroscopy, light scattering, and small-angle neutron scattering (SANS) were used to monitor different stages of nanoparticle formation as a function of temperature, providing insight into the fundamental processes involved. The presence of PEG in a copolymer structure significantly affects the formation of nanoparticles, making their transition to occur over a broader temperature range. The crucial parameter that controls the transition is the ratio of PEG/PNIPAM. For pure PNIPAM, the transition is sharp; the higher the PEG/PNIPAM ratio results in a broader transition. This behavior is explained by different mechanisms of PNIPAM block incorporation during nanoparticle formation at different PEG/PNIPAM ratios. Contrast variation experiments using SANS show that the structure of nanoparticles above cloud point temperatures for PNIPAM-b-PEG-b-PNIPAM copolymers is drastically different from the structure of PNIPAM mesoglobules. In contrast with pure PNIPAM mesoglobules, where solidlike particles and chain network with a mesh size of 1-3 nm are present, nanoparticles formed from PNIPAM-b-PEG-b-PNIPAM copolymers have nonuniform structure with "frozen" areas interconnected by single chains in Gaussian conformation. SANS data with deuterated "invisible" PEG blocks imply that PEG is uniformly distributed inside of a nanoparticle. It is kinetically flexible PEG blocks which affect the nanoparticle formation by prevention of PNIPAM microphase separation. PMID:27159129

  19. Organic solvent-free low temperature method of preparation for self assembled amphiphilic poly(ϵ-caprolactone)-poly(ethylene glycol) block copolymer based nanocarriers for protein delivery.

    PubMed

    Payyappilly, Sanal Sebastian; Panja, Sudipta; Mandal, Pijush; Dhara, Santanu; Chattopadhyay, Santanu

    2015-11-01

    Degradation and denaturation of labile biomolecules during preparation of micelles by organic solvent at high temperature are some of the limitations for fabrication of advanced polymer based protein delivery systems. In this paper, effectiveness of heat-chill method for preparation of micelles containing large labile biomolecules was investigated using insulin as a model protein molecule. Micelles (average size, <120 nm) were prepared using amphiphilic diblock and triblock copolymers of poly(ethylene glycol) (PEG) and poly(ϵ-caprolactone) (PCL). Micelles were prepared by heating PEG-PCL block copolymers with distilled water at 60 °C followed by sudden chilling in an ice-water bath. Effects of molecular architecture on morphology, stability and protein loading capacity of micelles were investigated. Micelles prepared using high molecular weight block copolymers exhibited good colloidal stability, encapsulation efficiency and insulin release characteristics. Insulin retained its secondary structure after micelles preparation as confirmed by CD spectroscopic study. Furthermore, in vitro cytotoxicity test suggested that the prepared micellar nanoparticles possessed biocompatibility. In a nut shell, heat-chill method of micellar nanoparticles preparation is well suited for encapsulating labile proteins and other allied biomolecules which degrade in presence of toxic organic solvents and at elevated temperatures. PMID:26291587

  20. Anomalous Pressure Dependence of the Critical Fluctuations in binary blends and diblock copolymers of PDMS and PEE.

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mortensen, Kell; Schwahn, Dietmar; Frielinghaus, Henrich; Almdal, Kristoffer

    2000-03-01

    The structure factor of binary blends of PDMS and PEE, and the corresponding diblock copolymer PDMS-PEE have been measured by small-angle neutron scattering as a function of both temperature and pressure. The study includes as well dependencies of the polymer molar masses. The phase behavior of both the blend and the diblock copolymer systems shows the similar anomalous trend: with increasing pressure the critical temperature decreases, but upon further increase in pressure the critical temperature also increases. In the block copolymer system this leads with monotonously increasing pressure to first a melting and subsequently an ordering, while the blend goes from two-phase to one-phase and back to two-phase. Based on analysis of the Flory-Huggins type, the origin of this behavior can be associated with changes in the entropic and the enthalpic parts of the interaction parameter. The abnormal behavior seems to be closely related to the characteristics of the PDMS part of the system. An additional result of the pressure dependent structural data is the conformational compressibility. In contrast to theoretical expectations, analysis of the peak position of the experimental structure factor results in a pronounced peak in the conformational compressibility at the order-to-disorder transition temperature.

  1. Bespoke contrast-matched diblock copolymer nanoparticles enable the rational design of highly transparent Pickering double emulsions

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rymaruk, Matthew J.; Thompson, Kate L.; Derry, Matthew J.; Warren, Nicholas J.; Ratcliffe, Liam P. D.; Williams, Clive N.; Brown, Steven L.; Armes, Steven P.

    2016-07-01

    We report the preparation of highly transparent oil-in-water Pickering emulsions using contrast-matched organic nanoparticles. This is achieved via addition of judicious amounts of either sucrose or glycerol to an aqueous dispersion of poly(glycerol monomethacrylate)56-poly(2,2,2-trifluoroethyl methacrylate)500 [PGMA-PTFEMA] diblock copolymer nanoparticles prior to high shear homogenization with an equal volume of n-dodecane. The resulting Pickering emulsions comprise polydisperse n-dodecane droplets of 20-100 μm diameter and exhibit up to 96% transmittance across the visible spectrum. In contrast, control experiments using non-contrast-matched poly(glycerol monomethacrylate)56-poly(benzyl methacrylate)300 [PGMA56-PBzMA300] diblock copolymer nanoparticles as a Pickering emulsifier only produced conventional highly turbid emulsions. Thus contrast-matching of the two immiscible phases is a necessary but not sufficient condition for the preparation of highly transparent Pickering emulsions: it is essential to use isorefractive nanoparticles in order to minimize light scattering. Furthermore, highly transparent oil-in-water-in-oil Pickering double emulsions can be obtained by homogenizing the contrast-matched oil-in-water Pickering emulsion prepared using the PGMA56-PTFEMA500 nanoparticles with a contrast-matched dispersion of hydrophobic poly(lauryl methacrylate)39-poly(2,2,2-trifluoroethyl methacrylate)800 [PLMA39-PTFEMA800] diblock copolymer nanoparticles in n-dodecane. Finally, we show that an isorefractive oil-in-water Pickering emulsion enables fluorescence spectroscopy to be used to monitor the transport of water-insoluble small molecules (pyrene and benzophenone) between n-dodecane droplets. Such transport is significantly less efficient than that observed for the equivalent isorefractive surfactant-stabilized emulsion. Conventional turbid emulsions do not enable such a comparison to be made because the intense light scattering leads to substantial spectral

  2. Glyco-Nanoparticles Made from Self-Assembly of Maltoheptaose-block-Poly(methyl methacrylate): Micelle, Reverse Micelle, and Encapsulation.

    PubMed

    Zepon, Karine M; Otsuka, Issei; Bouilhac, Cécile; Muniz, Edvani C; Soldi, Valdir; Borsali, Redouane

    2015-07-13

    The synthesis and the solution-state self-assembly of the "hybrid" diblock copolymers, maltoheptaose-block-poly(methyl methacrylate) (MH-b-PMMA), into large compound micelles (LCMs) and reverve micelle-type nanoparticles, are reported in this paper. The copolymers were self-assembled in water and acetone by direct dissolution method, and the morphologies of the nanoparticles were investigated by dynamic light scattering (DLS), nanoparticle tracking analysis (NTA), transmission electron microscopy (TEM), atomic force microscopy (AFM), proton nuclear magnetic resonance ((1)H NMR), and fluorescence spectroscopy as a function of the volume fraction of the copolymer hydrophobic block, copolymer concentration, stirring speed, and solvent polarity. The DLS measurements and TEM images showed that the hydrodynamic radius (Rh) of the LCMs obtained in water increases with the copolymer concentration. Apart from that, increasing the stirring speed leads to polydispersed aggregations of the LCMs. On the other hand, in acetone, the copolymers self-assembled into reverse micelle-type nanoparticles having Rh values of about 6 nm and micellar aggregates, as revealed the results obtained from DLS, AFM, and (1)H NMR analyses. The variation in micellar structure, that is, conformational inversion from LCMs to reverse micelle-type structures in response to polarity of the solvent, was investigated by apparent water contact angle (WCA) and (1)H NMR analyses. This conformational inversion of the nanoparticles was further confirmed by encapsulation and release of hydrophobic guest molecule, Nile red, characterized by fluorescence spectroscopy. PMID:25974198

  3. Bespoke contrast-matched diblock copolymer nanoparticles enable the rational design of highly transparent Pickering double emulsions.

    PubMed

    Rymaruk, Matthew J; Thompson, Kate L; Derry, Matthew J; Warren, Nicholas J; Ratcliffe, Liam P D; Williams, Clive N; Brown, Steven L; Armes, Steven P

    2016-08-14

    We report the preparation of highly transparent oil-in-water Pickering emulsions using contrast-matched organic nanoparticles. This is achieved via addition of judicious amounts of either sucrose or glycerol to an aqueous dispersion of poly(glycerol monomethacrylate)56-poly(2,2,2-trifluoroethyl methacrylate)500 [PGMA-PTFEMA] diblock copolymer nanoparticles prior to high shear homogenization with an equal volume of n-dodecane. The resulting Pickering emulsions comprise polydisperse n-dodecane droplets of 20-100 μm diameter and exhibit up to 96% transmittance across the visible spectrum. In contrast, control experiments using non-contrast-matched poly(glycerol monomethacrylate)56-poly(benzyl methacrylate)300 [PGMA56-PBzMA300] diblock copolymer nanoparticles as a Pickering emulsifier only produced conventional highly turbid emulsions. Thus contrast-matching of the two immiscible phases is a necessary but not sufficient condition for the preparation of highly transparent Pickering emulsions: it is essential to use isorefractive nanoparticles in order to minimize light scattering. Furthermore, highly transparent oil-in-water-in-oil Pickering double emulsions can be obtained by homogenizing the contrast-matched oil-in-water Pickering emulsion prepared using the PGMA56-PTFEMA500 nanoparticles with a contrast-matched dispersion of hydrophobic poly(lauryl methacrylate)39-poly(2,2,2-trifluoroethyl methacrylate)800 [PLMA39-PTFEMA800] diblock copolymer nanoparticles in n-dodecane. Finally, we show that an isorefractive oil-in-water Pickering emulsion enables fluorescence spectroscopy to be used to monitor the transport of water-insoluble small molecules (pyrene and benzophenone) between n-dodecane droplets. Such transport is significantly less efficient than that observed for the equivalent isorefractive surfactant-stabilized emulsion. Conventional turbid emulsions do not enable such a comparison to be made because the intense light scattering leads to substantial spectral

  4. Effect of Film Thickness and Domain Spacing on Defect Densities in Directed Self-Assembly of Cylindrical Morphology Block Copolymers

    SciTech Connect

    Mishra, Vindhya; Fredrickson, Glenn H.; Kramer, Edward J.

    2012-04-30

    Directed assembly of block copolymer thin films is recognized as a high-throughput, low-cost complement to optical lithography with the ability to overcome the 32 nm natural resolution limit of conventional lithographic techniques. For bulk block copolymer systems, desired feature sizes ranging from 5 to 100 nm can be obtained by controlling the molecular weight and composition of a block copolymer, as long as the bulk order-disorder temperature (ODT) is such that the copolymer is well-segregated at the processing conditions. However, our studies on graphoepitaxially aligned cylindrical morphology block copolymer monolayer and bilayer films demonstrate that, as domain sizes are reduced, the block copolymer becomes increasingly susceptible to an unacceptably high density of thermally generated defects, resulting in a significant reduction of the ODT. Thus, in thin films, the minimum feature spacing accessible is limited by thermal defect generation and not by the bulk ODT. Our experimental studies on monolayer films of cylindrical morphology polystyrene-b-poly(2-vinyl pyridine) with microdomain spacings approaching 20 nm reveal that defect densities and the ODT are surprisingly sensitive to variations as small as 2 nm in the microdomain spacing. Additionally, the monolayer and bilayer ODT differ by nearly 100 C when the monolayer domain spacing is 20 nm, while the difference is only 20 C when the monolayer domain spacing is 22 nm. We explain this behavior using a quantitative estimation of the energetic cost of defect production in terms of the domain spacing, {chi}N, and block copolymer composition. These studies reveal unexpected consequences on the equilibrium defect densities of thin film block copolymers which must be accounted for when designing a block-copolymer-based directed-assembly process.

  5. Polymer adsorption-driven self-assembly of nanostructures.

    PubMed

    Chakraborty, A K; Golumbfskie, A J

    2001-01-01

    Driven by prospective applications, there is much interest in developing materials that can perform specific functions in response to external conditions. One way to design such materials is to create systems which, in response to external inputs, can self-assemble to form structures that are functionally useful. This review focuses on the principles that can be employed to design macromolecules that when presented with an appropriate two-dimensional surface, will self-assemble to form nanostructures that may be functionally useful. We discuss three specific examples: (a) biomimetic recognition between polymers and patterned surfaces. (b) control and manipulation of nanomechanical motion generated by biopolymer adsorption and binding, and (c) creation of patterned nanostructuctures by exposing molten diblock copolymers to patterned surfaces. The discussion serves to illustrate how polymer sequence can be manipulated to affect self-assembly characteristics near adsorbing surfaces. The focus of this review is on theoretical and computational work aimed toward elucidating the principles underlying the phenomena pertinent to the three topics noted above. However, synergistic experiments are also described in the appropriate context. PMID:11326074

  6. Virtual fabrication using directed self-assembly for process optimization in a 14nm DRAM

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kamon, Mattan; Akbulut, Mustafa; Yan, Yiguang; Faken, Daniel; Pap, Andras; Allampalli, Vasanth; Greiner, Ken; Fried, David

    2016-03-01

    For Directed Self-Assembly (DSA) to be deployed in advanced semiconductor technologies, it must reliably integrate into a full process flow. We present a methodology for using virtual fabrication software, including predictive DSA process models, to develop and analyze the replacement of SAQP patterning with LiNe chemoepitaxy on a 14nm DRAM process. To quantify the impact of this module replacement, we investigate a key process yield metric for DRAM: interface area between the capacitor contacts and transistor source/drain. Additionally, we demonstrate virtual fabrication of the DRAM cell's hexagonally-packed capacitors patterned with an array of diblock copolymer cylinders in place of LE4 patterning.

  7. Diblock Copolymer Micelles and Supported Films with Noncovalently Incorporated Chromophores: A Modular Platform for Efficient Energy Transfer

    SciTech Connect

    Adams, Peter G.; Collins, Aaron M.; Sahin, Tuba; Subramanian, Vijaya; Urban, Volker S.; Vairaprakash, Pothiappan; Tian, Yongming; Evans, Deborah G.; Shreve, Andrew P.; Montaño, Gabriel A.

    2015-04-08

    Here we report generation of modular, artificial light-harvesting assemblies where an amphiphilic diblock copolymer, poly(ethylene oxide)-block-poly(butadiene), serves as the framework for noncovalent organization of BODIPY-based energy donor and bacteriochlorin-based energy acceptor chromophores. The assemblies are adaptive and form well-defined micelles in aqueous solution and high-quality monolayer and bilayer films on solid supports, with the latter showing greater than 90% energy transfer efficiency. Ultimately, this study lays the groundwork for further development of modular, polymer-based materials for light harvesting and other photonic applications.

  8. Cell Dynamics Simulations of Cylinder-Forming Diblock Copolymers in Thin Films on Topographical and Chemically Patterned Substrates

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zvelindovsky, Andrei; Dessi, Roberta; Pinna, Marco; Serral, Maria; Bonet, Josep

    2014-03-01

    Using 3-dimensional cell dynamics simulation, we demonstrate that the tetragonal phase of cylinder forming diblock copolymers can be induced on both topographical and chemical patterned substrates. The results quantitatively describe the different effect of both substrates on the degree of imperfection in the tetragonal phase observed in recent experiments [Xu, J.et al. Soft Matter 2011, 7, 3915]. Comparative analysis of the structural evolution for different thermal noise level in square, rectangular and diamond-shape lateral confinements is performed. A set of patterned substrates has been investigated.

  9. Simulation of the gyroid phase in off-lattice models of pure diblock copolymer melts

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Martínez-Veracoechea, Francisco J.; Escobedo, Fernando A.

    2006-09-01

    Particle-based molecular simulations of pure diblock copolymer (DBC) systems were performed in continuum space via dissipative particle dynamics and Monte Carlo methods for a bead-spring chain model. This model consisted of chains of soft repulsive particles often used with dissipative particle dynamics. The gyroid phase was successfully simulated in DBC melts at selected conditions provided that the simulation box size was commensurate with the gyroid lattice spacing. Simulations were concentrated at conditions where the gyroid phase is expected to be stable which allowed us to outline approximate phase boundaries. When more than one phase was observed by varying simulation box size, thermodynamic stability was discerned by comparing the Helmholtz free energy of the competing phases. For this purpose, chemical potentials were efficiently simulated via an expanded ensemble that gradually inserts/deletes a target chain to/from the system. These simulations employed a novel combination of Bennett's [J. Comput. Phys. 22, 245 (1976)] acceptance-ratio method to estimate free-energy differences and a recently proposed method to get biasing weights that maximize the number of times that the target chain is regrown. The analysis of the gyroid nodes revealed clear evidence of packing frustration in the form of an (entropically) unfavorably overstretching of chains, a phenomenon that has been suggested to provide the structural basis for the limited region of stability of the gyroid phase in the DBC phase diagram. Finally, the G phase and nodal chain stretching were also found in simulations with a completely different DBC particle-based model.

  10. Tethered chains in poor solvent conditions: An experimental study involving Langmuir diblock copolymer monolayers

    SciTech Connect

    Kent, M.S.; Majewski, J.; Smith, G.S.; Lee, L.T.; Satija, S.

    1999-02-01

    We have employed Langmuir monolayers of highly asymmetric polydimethylsiloxane-polystyrene (PDMS-PS) diblock copolymers on dioctyl phthalate (DOP) at temperatures ranging from 22 to {minus}35thinsp{degree}C as a model system for tethered chains in poor solvent conditions. The thicknesses of the tethered PS layers extending into the DOP subphase, measured by neutron reflection, decrease with decreasing temperature ({ital T}) over this entire range. However, the variation with {ital T} becomes weak below {minus}20thinsp{degree}C. At the lowest {ital T}, the layer thicknesses are 55{percent}{endash}75{percent} of the values at the theta condition (T{sub {theta}}=22thinsp{degree}C). The contraction of the layer with decreasing {ital T} is determined as a function of surface density and molecular weight, and these data are compared to universal scaling forms. The PS segments are depleted from the near surface region over the entire {ital T} range, with the thickness of the depletion layer increasing slightly with decreasing {ital T}. The free energy of the surface layer is probed by surface tension measurements. With decreasing {ital T}, negative surface pressures are observed at low coverages for both PDMS-PS and PDMS monolayers, indicating metastability toward lateral phase separation. Evidence for a transition from a dispersed phase to a condensed phase with decreasing {ital T} was observed in the reflectivity for very low PDMS-PS coverage. At high coverage where the submerged blocks are strongly interacting at 22thinsp{degree}C, only a modest decrease in surface pressure is observed over the experimental range of {ital T} despite the strong contraction. This latter result is discussed in terms of the relative contributions of enthalpic and entropic effects to the surface pressure. {copyright} {ital 1999 American Institute of Physics.}

  11. Morphological Phase Behavior of Poly(RTIL)-Containing Diblock Copolymer Melts

    SciTech Connect

    Scalfani, Vincent F.; Wiesenauer, Erin F.; Ekblad, John R.; Edwards, Julian P.; Gin, Douglas L.; Bailey, Travis S.

    2012-10-23

    The development of nanostructured polymeric systems containing directionally continuous poly(ionic liquid) (poly(IL)) domains has considerable implications toward a range of transport-dependent, energy-based technology applications. The controlled, synthetic integration of poly(IL)s into block copolymer (BCP) architectures provides a promising means to this end, based on their inherent ability to self-assemble into a range of defined, periodic morphologies. In this work, we report the melt-state phase behavior of an imidazolium-containing alkyl-ionic BCP system, derived from the sequential ring-opening metathesis polymerization (ROMP) of imidazolium- and alkyl-substituted norbornene monomer derivatives. A series of 16 BCP samples were synthesized, varying both the relative volume fraction of the poly(norbornene dodecyl ester) block (f{sub DOD} = 0.42-0.96) and the overall molecular weights of the block copolymers (M{sub n} values from 5000-20,100 g mol{sup -1}). Through a combination of small-angle X-ray scattering (SAXS) and dynamic rheology, we were able to delineate clear compositional phase boundaries for each of the classic BCP phases, including lamellae (Lam), hexagonally packed cylinders (Hex), and spheres on a body-centered-cubic lattice (S{sub BCC}). Additionally, a liquid-like packing (LLP) of spheres was found for samples located in the extreme asymmetric region of the phase diagram, and a persistent coexistence of Lam and Hex domains was found in lieu of the bicontinuous cubic gyroid phase for samples located at the intersection of Hex and Lam regions. Thermal disordering was opposed even in very low molecular weight samples, detected only when the composition was highly asymmetric (f{sub DOD} = 0.96). Annealing experiments on samples exhibiting Lam and Hex coexistence revealed the presence of extremely slow transition kinetics, ultimately selective for one or the other but not the more complex gyroid phase. In fact, no evidence of the bicontinuous

  12. Electron Propagation within Redox-Active Microdomains in Thin Films of Ferrocene-Containing Diblock Copolymers.

    PubMed

    Ghimire, Govinda; Yi, Yi; Derylo, Maksymilian A; Baker, Lane A; Ito, Takashi

    2015-11-10

    This paper reports the electrochemical behavior of redox-active microdomains in thin films of ferrocene-containing diblock copolymers, polystyrene-block-poly(2-(acryloyloxy)ethyl ferrocenecarboxylate) (PS-b-PAEFc). PS-b-PAEFc with different PAEFc volume fractions (PS154-b-PAEFc51, PS154-b-PAEFc26, and PS154-b-PAEFc12, where the subscripts represent the polymerization degree of each block; f(PAEFc) = 0.47, 0.30, and 0.17, respectively) was synthesized by sequential atom transfer radical polymerization. PS-b-PAEFc films of controlled thicknesses (20-160 nm) were prepared on gold substrates via spin-coating and characterized by ellipsometry. Microdomains were observed via atomic force microscopy on the surfaces of PS154-b-PAEFc51 and PS154-b-PAEFc26 thin films but not on the surfaces of PS154-b-PAEFc12 thin films. Electrochemical behavior of films was assessed by cyclic voltammetry and chronocoulometry in acetonitrile solution. The redox potential of ferrocene moieties was similar (ca. + 0.29 V vs Fc(+)/Fc) regardless of fPAEFc and film thickness. For PS154-b-PAEFc51 and PS154-b-PAEFc26, thicker films afforded larger faradaic peak currents and exhibited diffusion-controlled voltammograms at faster sweep rates. PS154-b-PAEFc26 produced voltammograms less influenced by solvent-induced swelling than PS154-b-PAEFc51, reflecting the improved morphological stability of PAEFc microdomains by redox-inert PS frameworks. In contrast, PS154-b-PAEFc12 films yielded similar faradaic peak currents regardless of film thickness and exhibited voltammograms indicative of surface-confined species. These observations suggest that PS154-b-PAEFc51 and PS154-b-PAEFc26 films contain continuous PAEFc microdomains extending from the electrode to the surface, in contrast to the PS154-b-PAEFc12 films which contain isolated PAEFc microdomains buried within the PS matrix. Electron propagation took place only through PAEFc microdomains that could electrically communicate with the underlying

  13. Morphological control via chemical and shear forces in block copolymer self-assembly in the lab-on-chip.

    PubMed

    Wang, Chih-Wei; Sinton, David; Moffitt, Matthew G

    2013-02-26

    We investigate the effects of variation in chemical conditions (solvent composition, water content, polymer concentration, and added salt) on the morphologies formed by PS-b-PAA in DMF/dioxane/water mixtures in a two-phase gas-liquid segmented microfluidic reactor. The differences in morphologies between off-chip and on-chip self-assembly and on-chip morphological trends for different chemical conditions are explained by the interplay of top-down shear effects (coalescence and breakup) and bottom-up chemical forces. Using off-chip morphology results, we construct a water content-solvent composition phase diagram showing disordered, sphere, cylinder, and vesicle regions. On-chip morphologies are found to deviate from off-chip morphologies by three identified shear-induced paths: 1) sphere-to-cylinder, and 2) sphere-to-vesicle transitions, both via shear-induced coalescence when initial micelle sizes are small, and 3) cylinder-to-sphere transitions via shear-induced breakup when initial micelle sizes are large (high capillary number conditions). These pathways contribute to the generation of large extended bilayer aggregates uniquely on-chip, at either increased polymer or salt concentrations. Collectively these results demonstrate the broad utility of top-down directed molecular self-assembly in conjunction with chemical forces to control morphology and size of polymer colloids at the nanoscale. PMID:23311400

  14. Self-assembled micelles based on pH-sensitive PAE-g-MPEG-cholesterol block copolymer for anticancer drug delivery.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Can Yang; Xiong, Di; Sun, Yao; Zhao, Bin; Lin, Wen Jing; Zhang, Li Juan

    2014-01-01

    A novel amphiphilic triblock pH-sensitive poly(β-amino ester)-g-poly(ethylene glycol) methyl ether-cholesterol (PAE-g-MPEG-Chol) was designed and synthesized via the Michael-type step polymerization and esterification condensation method. The synthesized copolymer was determined with proton nuclear magnetic resonance and gel permeation chromatography. The grafting percentages of MPEG and cholesterol were determined as 10.93% and 62.02%, calculated from the area of the characteristic peaks, respectively. The amphiphilic copolymer was confirmed to self-assemble into core/shell micelles in aqueous solution at low concentrations. The critical micelle concentrations were 6.92 and 15.14 mg/L at pH of 7.4 and 6.0, respectively, obviously influenced by the changes of pH values. The solubility of pH-responsive PAE segment could be transformed depending on the different values of pH because of protonation-deprotonation of the amino groups, resulting in pH sensitivity of the copolymer. The average particle size of micelles increased from 125 nm to 165 nm with the pH decreasing, and the zeta potential was also significantly changed. Doxorubicin (DOX) was entrapped into the polymeric micelles with a high drug loading level. The in vitro DOX release from the micelles was distinctly enhanced with the pH decreasing from 7.4 to 6.0. Toxicity testing proved that the DOX-loaded micelles exhibited high cytotoxicity in HepG2 cells, whereas the copolymer showed low toxicity. The results demonstrated how pH-sensitive PAE-g-MPEG-Chol micelles were proved to be a potential vector in hydrophobic drug delivery for tumor therapy. PMID:25364250

  15. Self-assembled micelles based on pH-sensitive PAE-g-MPEG-cholesterol block copolymer for anticancer drug delivery

    PubMed Central

    Zhang, Can Yang; Xiong, Di; Sun, Yao; Zhao, Bin; Lin, Wen Jing; Zhang, Li Juan

    2014-01-01

    A novel amphiphilic triblock pH-sensitive poly(β-amino ester)-g-poly(ethylene glycol) methyl ether-cholesterol (PAE-g-MPEG-Chol) was designed and synthesized via the Michael-type step polymerization and esterification condensation method. The synthesized copolymer was determined with proton nuclear magnetic resonance and gel permeation chromatography. The grafting percentages of MPEG and cholesterol were determined as 10.93% and 62.02%, calculated from the area of the characteristic peaks, respectively. The amphiphilic copolymer was confirmed to self-assemble into core/shell micelles in aqueous solution at low concentrations. The critical micelle concentrations were 6.92 and 15.14 mg/L at pH of 7.4 and 6.0, respectively, obviously influenced by the changes of pH values. The solubility of pH-responsive PAE segment could be transformed depending on the different values of pH because of protonation–deprotonation of the amino groups, resulting in pH sensitivity of the copolymer. The average particle size of micelles increased from 125 nm to 165 nm with the pH decreasing, and the zeta potential was also significantly changed. Doxorubicin (DOX) was entrapped into the polymeric micelles with a high drug loading level. The in vitro DOX release from the micelles was distinctly enhanced with the pH decreasing from 7.4 to 6.0. Toxicity testing proved that the DOX-loaded micelles exhibited high cytotoxicity in HepG2 cells, whereas the copolymer showed low toxicity. The results demonstrated how pH-sensitive PAE-g-MPEG-Chol micelles were proved to be a potential vector in hydrophobic drug delivery for tumor therapy. PMID:25364250

  16. Shear-induced sphere-to-cylinder transition in thin films of diblock copolymers and the role of wetting layers

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Chremos, Alexandros; Register, Richard; Chaikin, Paul; Panagioto