Nanoparticle ordering via functionalized block copolymers in solution

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Date
2008-01-01
Authors
Sknepnek, Rastko
Lamm, Monica
Anderson, Joshua
Lamm, Monica
Schmalian, Jorg
Travesset, Alex
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Chemical and Biological Engineering
Abstract

We consider nanoparticles and functionalized copolymers, block copolymers with attached end groups possessing a specific affinity for nanoparticles, in solution. Using molecular dynamics, we show that nanoparticles are able to direct the self-assembly of the polymer/ nanoparticle composite. We perform a detailed study for a wide range of nanoparticle sizes and concentrations. We show that the nanoparticles order in a number of distinct phases: simple cubic, layered hexagonal, hexagonal columnar, gyroid, and a novel square columnar. Our results show that nanoparticles ordered with functionalized block copolymers can provide a simple and efficient tool for assembling novel materials with nanometer scale resolution.

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Reprinted (adapted) with permission from ACS Nano 2 (2008): 1259, doi: 10.1021/nn8001449. Copyright 2008 American Chemical Society.

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