Block Copolymer Controlled Nanoparticle Self-assembly

SY Ma and R Wang, ACTA POLYMERICA SINICA, 1030-1041 (2016).

DOI: 10.11777/j.issn1000-3304.2016.16082

Block copolymer-nanoparticle composite nanomaterials provide exciting opportunities as they may display distinctive properties from constituents that are desired in applications including biomedicine, photoelectric materials, and catalytic materials, etc. Block copolymers can self-assemble to various nanoscale structures. The successful distribution of nanoparticles in a particular location of the block copolymer matrix can improve the functional properties of nanoparticles. In this review, the methods for fabricating block copolymer-nonaparticle composite nanomaterials are introduced. Experimental and theoretical progress in the description of these nanostructured block copolymer based hybrid materials is represented. Furthermore, precise assembly and localization of nanoparticle in block copolymer assemblies are of great importance in realizing the formation of nano-hybrids with high performance. The properties and applications of the nanocomposites depend not only on those of individual building blocks but also on their spatial distribution within different morphological aggregates at different length scales. This review also discussed the effect of nanoparticle size, shape and surface chemistry on the selective localization of nanoparticle within block copolymer aggregates. Those factors manipulate the balance between enthalpic and entropic contributions, which provides an opportunity to precisely control the spatial distribution of nanoparticles in block copolymer aggregates. In the end, the self-assembly of block copolymer-nanoparticles in theoretical simulation is introduced. Theoretical and computational simulations offer a unique approach not only to study the evolution and formation of nanostructures,but also to investigate structure-property relationship of hybrid nanocomposites.

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