Nanoparticle ordering via functionalized block copolymers in solution
Sknepnek, R (Sknepnek, Rastko); Anderson, JA (Anderson, Joshua A.); Lamm, MH (Lamm, Monica H.); Schmalian, J (Schmalian, Joerg); Travesset, A (Travesset, Alex)
ACS NANO, 2 (6): 1259-1265 JUN 2008
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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