Block Copolymer Nanocontainers

Pinna, Marco, Hiltl, Stephanie, Guo, Xiaohu, Böker, Alexander and Zvelindovsky, Andrei V. orcid iconORCID: 0000-0003-4464-3254 (2010) Block Copolymer Nanocontainers. ACS Nano, 4 (5). pp. 2845-2855. ISSN 1936-0851

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Using cell dynamics computer simulation, we perform a systematic study of thin block copolymer films around a nanoparticle. Lamellar-, cylinder-, and sphere-forming block copolymers are investigated with respect to different film thicknesses, particle radii, and boundary conditions at the film interfaces. The obtained structures include standing lamellae and cylinders, “onions”, cylinder “knitting balls”, “golf ball”, layered spherical, “virus”-like and mixed morphologies with T-junctions and U-type defects. The kinetics of the structure formation and difference with planar thin films are discussed. Our simulations suggest that novel porous nanocontainers can be formed by the coating of a sacrificial nanobead by a block copolymer layer with a well-controlled nanostructure. In addition, first scanning force microscopy experiments on a model system reveal surface structures similar to those predicted by our simulations.
block copolymer; computer simulation; spherical particle; scanning force microscopy; nanocapsule

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