Hierarchical self-assembly of nanoparticles using reversible addition-fragmentation chain-transfer block copolymers




Burns, Fraser

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The hierarchical self-assembly of cadmium based quantum dots through the use of RAFT block copolymers have been investigated. The formation of cadmium selenide quantum dots within the core of tetrablock RAFT copolymers in three different solvents, dioxane, THF and DMF was investigated experimentally and computationally. It was determined that aggregation of the PAA core-forming blocks prevented the formation of stable dispersions of the CdSe quantum dots in DMF and THF, while dioxane was found to be a suitable solvent. The cadmium selenide quantum dots exhibit a near band-edge emission centered at 520 nm with a hydrodynamic diameter of 20 nm. The assembly of RAFT copolymer encapsulated cadmium sulfide quantum dots with gold nanoparticles was explored. It was determined that with increasing concentration of gold nanoparticles, there was an increase in emission amplification. Subsequent self-assembly into large compound micelles with PS-b-PAA block copolymer was investigated and determined to form large, water-soluble compound micelles.



Nanoparticle, Block Copolymer, Gold, Cadmium, Self-Assembly, RAFT, Polystyrene, Poly(acrylic acid), Polymer Micelles, Emission Amplification