|427. Walther, A.; Müller, A.H.E.: Soft, Nanoscale Janus Particles by Macromolecular Engineering and Molecular Assembly in: Janus particle synthesis, self-assembly and applications, S. Jiang, S. Granick, Eds., RSC, London, p. 1 (2012)|
Macromolecular Engineering provides a powerful toolbox for the direct synthesis of molecular Janus particles, or for the fabrication of block copolymers, which can be transformed into Janus particles by self-assembly. These strategies have proven extremely useful for the fabrication of well-defined biphasic objects with different dimensionalities (spheres, cylinders, discs), allowing to access truly nanosized (< 100 nm) particles often difficult to target with other established techniques. Smart and responsive polymers are distinctive soft matter segments able to impart large-scale responsiveness or to control the communication with the environment. This renders them key building blocks for switchable materials or for mediating the interactions with cells and tissues when approaching the bio and life sciences. This chapter reviews advances in the synthesis of such polymeric Janus particles, their hierarchical self-assembly behavior and discusses first applications of amphiphilic Janus particles already realized in the context of stabilization and nanostructuration of interfaces.