Solvent effects leading to a variety of different 2D structures in the self-assembly of a crystalline-coil block copolymer with an amphiphilic corona-forming block

Date

2020

Authors

Song, Shaofei
Yu, Qing
Zhou, Hang
Hicks, Garion
Zhu, Hu
Rastogi, Chandresh Kumar
Manners, Ian
Winnik, Mitchell A.

Journal Title

Journal ISSN

Volume Title

Publisher

Chemical Science

Abstract

We describe a polyferrocenyldimethylsilane (PFS) block copolymer (BCP), PFS27-b-P(TDMA65-ran-OEGMA69) (the subscripts refer to the mean degrees of polymerization), in which the corona-forming block is a random brush copolymer of hydrophobic tetradecyl methacrylate (TDMA) and hydrophilic oligo(ethylene glycol) methyl ether methacrylate (OEGMA). Thus, the corona is amphiphilic. This BCP generates a remarkable series of different structures when subjected to crystallization-driven self-assembly (CDSA) in solvents of different polarity. Long ribbon-like micelles formed in isopropanol, and their lengths could be controlled using both self-seeding and seeded growth protocols. In hexanol, the BCP formed more complex structures. These objects consisted of oval platelets connected to long fiber-like micelles that were uniform in width but polydisperse in length. In octane, relatively uniform rectangular platelets formed. Finally, a distinct morphology formed in a mixture of octane/hexanol, namely uniform oval structures, whose height corresponded to the fully extended PFS block. Both long and short axes of these ovals increased with the initial annealing temperature and with the BCP concentration. The self-seeding protocol also afforded uniform two-dimensional structures. Seeded growth experiments, in which a solution of the BCP in THF was added to a colloidal solution of the oval micelles led to a linear increase in area while maintaining the aspect ratio of the ovals. These experiments demonstrate the powerful effect of the amphiphilic corona chains on the CDSA of a core crystalline BCP in solvents of different hydrophilicity.

Description

This article is part of the themed collection: 2020 Chemical Science HOT Article Collection

Keywords

Citation

Song, S., Yu, Q., Zhou, H., Hicks, G., Zhu, H., Rastogi, C. K. … Winnik, M. A. (2020). Solvent effects leading to a variety of different 2D structures in the selfassembly of a crystalline-coil block copolymer with an amphiphilic corona-forming block. Chemical Science, 11(18), 4631-4643. https://doi.org/10.1039/d0sc01453b