Logo JG-Universität MainzProf. Dr. Axel Müller


504. Löbling, T.I.; Borisov, O.V.; Haataja, J.S.; Ikkala, O.; Gröschel, A.H.; Müller, A.H.E.: Rational design of ABC triblock terpolymer solution nanostructures with controlled patch morphology, Nat. Commun. 7, 12097 (2016) -- DOI: 10.1038/ncomms12097

Block copolymers self-assemble to a variety of nanostructures that are relevant for science and technology. While the bulk and solution self-assembly of AB diblock copolymers is largely understood, the solution self-assembly of block copolymers with three or more blocks remains challenging due to complex interplay of block/block and block/solvent interactions. Here, we provide guidelines for the self-assembly of linear ABC triblock terpolymers into a large variety of multicompartment nanostructures with soluble corona block C and collapsed core blocks A and B. Varying the ratio of block lengths NC/NA alters the micelle geometry to spheres, cylinders, bilayer sheets and vesicles. The insoluble blocks microphase separate to core A and surface patch B, where the block length NB controls the patch morphology to spherical, cylindrical, bicontinuous and lamellar. The independent control over both structural features gives access to combinatorial libraries of solution nanostructures, including spheres-on-cylinders/sheets/vesicles (polymersomes), cylinders-on-sheets/vesicles, and sheets/vesicles with bicontinuous or lamellar membrane morphology. The derived parameters deliver a logical toolbox and provide complex self-assemblies for soft matter nanotechnologies.

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