Fundamental studies and potential optoelectronic applications of living crystallization-driven self-assembly




Lei, Shixing

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Self-assembled nanostructures are receiving intense current attention because of their fascinating multifunctional properties and potential uses in the emerging field of nanoscience. Solution self-assembly of block copolymers (BCPs) is capable of generating a diverse range of colloidally stable core-shell micellar nanoparticles on the nano- and micro-scale. For BCPs containing a crystallizable core-forming block, living crystallization-driven self-assembly (CDSA) is of growing interest as a facile, ambient-temperature seeded growth route to colloidally stable 1D and 2D nanoparticles and more complex segmented and other hierarchical assemblies with low dispersity and predetermined dimensions. This field of research is growing rapidly with various emerging applications of these precisely controlled nanoparticles. The work presented in this thesis focuses on expanding the fundamental understanding and exploring the potential optoelectronic applications of living CDSA. Chapter 1 gives a general introduction by broadly discussing self-assembly examples in natural and synthetic systems, with a focus on BCP self-assembly, living CDSA and π-conjugated polymer nanoparticles (CPNPs). Chapter 2 involves studies of the size-dependent growth kinetics of living CDSA by investigating 1D seeded growth behavior. Chapter 3 describes an exploration of the preparation of aggregation-induced emission (AIE)-active, stimuli-responsive fluorescent 2D BCP nanoplatelets, and their proof-of-concept use for efficient and selective detection of mercury(II). Chapter 4 discusses the preparation and properties of tailored 2D organic semiconducting nanoplatelets from π-conjugated polymer amphiphiles with a crystallizable poly(di-n-hexylfluorene) (PDHF) core-forming block and a multiply-charged dendritic terminus. Chapter 5 involves studies of the preparation and resonant coupling of optical excitations in well-defined hybrid conjugates of semiconducting P3HT nanofiber–quantum dot. Finally, an outlook for this research area is discussed in Chapter 6 with the broad aim of preparing functional nanostructures with desirable properties for optoelectronic applications.



Crystallization, Optoelectronics, Sensor, Self-assembly, Nanoparticles, Kinetics, Fluorescence