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Issue 35, 2018
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Polymerization-like kinetics of the self-assembly of colloidal nanoparticles into supracolloidal polymers

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Abstract

The self-assembly of colloidal nanoparticles is conceptually analogous to the polymerization of reactive monomers in molecular systems. However, less is known about the polymerization of colloidal nanoparticles into supracolloidal polymers. Herein, using coarse-grained molecular dynamics and theoretical analysis, we reveal the self-assembly mechanism and kinetics of colloidal nanoparticles constructed from triblock terpolymers. The results show that the formation pathway of supracolloidal polymers involves monomer condensation and oligomer coalescence through the manner of end-to-end collisions. In contrast to the polymerization kinetics of molecular systems, the simulations and theoretical analysis definitely demonstrate that the growth of supracolloidal polymers obeys diffusion-controlled step-growth polymerization kinetics with a variable rate coefficient, where the growth rate is dependent upon the concentration of colloidal nanoparticles and the molecular information of triblock terpolymers. Our findings possess wide implications for understanding the growth of supracolloidal polymers, which is important for the rational and precise design of one-dimensional self-assembled superstructures with new horizons for biomedical applications.

Graphical abstract: Polymerization-like kinetics of the self-assembly of colloidal nanoparticles into supracolloidal polymers

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Publication details

The article was received on 02 Jul 2018, accepted on 23 Aug 2018 and first published on 23 Aug 2018


Article type: Paper
DOI: 10.1039/C8NR05310C
Citation: Nanoscale, 2018,10, 16873-16880
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    Polymerization-like kinetics of the self-assembly of colloidal nanoparticles into supracolloidal polymers

    X. Ma, Y. Zhou, L. Zhang, J. Lin and X. Tian, Nanoscale, 2018, 10, 16873
    DOI: 10.1039/C8NR05310C

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