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Issue 38, 2017
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Characterizing single chain nanoparticles (SCNPs): a critical survey

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We provide the results of a critical literature survey on the reported sizes of single chain polymer nanoparticles (SCNPs), an emerging class of functional nanomaterials with sub-30 nm diameters. Comparing different size evaluation techniques (DLS, 2D DOSY NMR, viscometry as well as microscopic techniques) by plotting the SCNPs’ estimated diameters, D, versus their measured (apparent) number average molecular weight, Mn, we demonstrate the vast data scatter that besets their analysis. We show that while relative reductions in measured diameter certainly indicate chain collapse, accurately describing the absolute size of SCNPs in solution remains a challenging task. Critically, conformation-size relationships emerge depending on the method used for size determination. We submit that the vast majority of reported sizes are only indicative of the relative size reduction during chain collapse and that absolute size determination approaches currently in use need to be further refined.

Graphical abstract: Characterizing single chain nanoparticles (SCNPs): a critical survey

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Publication details

The article was received on 30 Jul 2017, accepted on 25 Aug 2017 and first published on 28 Aug 2017

Article type: Paper
DOI: 10.1039/C7PY01278K
Polym. Chem., 2017,8, 5845-5851

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    Characterizing single chain nanoparticles (SCNPs): a critical survey

    E. Blasco, B. T. Tuten, H. Frisch, A. Lederer and C. Barner-Kowollik, Polym. Chem., 2017, 8, 5845
    DOI: 10.1039/C7PY01278K

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