Polymer Science Faculty Research

Title

Self-Assembly of Subnanometer-Scaled Polyhedral Oligomeric Silsesquioxane (POSS) Macroions in Dilute Solution

Document Type

Article

Publication Date

Fall 9-2014

Abstract

Both positively and negatively charged polyhedral oligomeric silsesquioxane (POSS) electrolytes were observed to self-assemble into blackberry-type supramolecular structures in water/acetone mixed solvents, driven by the counterion-mediated attraction. Laser light-scattering studies reveal that the sizes of the blackberry structures increase with increasing acetone content, which suggests a charge-regulated process. Studies on two oppositely charged POSS macroions with identical charges and similar sizes show the discrepancy between positively and negatively charged POSS macroions, which is related to counterions, ionic domains of macroions, and the water-bridged hydrogen bonding between monomers. These POSS ions further decrease the lower size limit of macroions that can self-assemble in polar solvents reported to date. The new phenomena were observed in the self-assembly process of POSS macroions relative to other macroion systems.

Publication Title

European Journal of Inorganic Chemistry

Volume

2014

Issue

27

First Page

4593

Last Page

4599