Polymer Science Faculty Research

Title

Pathway toward Large Two-Dimensional Hexagonally Patterned Colloidal Nanosheets in Solution

Document Type

Article

Publication Date

Winter 1-15-2015

Abstract

We report the solution self-assembly of an ABC block terpolymer consisting of a polystyrene-block-poly(ethylene oxide) (PS-b-PEO) diblock copolymer tail tethered to a fluorinated polyhedral oligomeric silsesquioxane (FPOSS) cage in 1,4-dioxane/water. With increasing water content, abundant unconventional morphologies, including circular cylinders, two-dimensional hexagonally patterned colloidal nanosheets, and laterally patterned vesicles, are sequentially observed. The formation of toroids is dominated by two competing free energies: the end-cap energy of cylinders and the bending energy to form the circular structures. Incorporating the superhydrophobic FPOSS cages enhances the end-cap energy and promotes toroid formation. Lateral aggregation and fusion of the cylinders results in primitive nanosheets that are stabilized by the thicker rims to partially release the rim-cap energy. Rearrangement of the parallel-aligned FPOSS cylindrical cores generates hexagonally patterned nanosheets. Further increasing the water content induces the formation of vesicles with nanopatterned walls.

Publication Title

Journal of the American Chemical Society

Volume

137

Issue

4

First Page

1392

Last Page

1395