Jump to main content
Jump to site search

Issue 23, 2019
Previous Article Next Article

Core-crystalline nanoribbons of controlled length via diffusion-limited colloid aggregation

Author affiliations

Abstract

It has been previously reported that poly(ethylene) (PE)-based block copolymers self-assemble in certain thermosetting matrices to form a dispersion of one-dimensional (1D) nanoribbons. Such materials exhibit exceptional properties that originate from the high aspect ratio of the elongated nano-objects. However, the ability to prepare 1D assemblies with well-controlled dimensions is limited and represents a key challenge. Here, we demonstrate that the length of ribbon-like nanostructures can be precisely controlled by regulating the mobility of the matrix during crystallization of the core-forming PE block. The selected system to prove this concept was a poly(ethylene-block-ethylene oxide) (PE-b-PEO) block copolymer in an epoxy monomer based on diglycidyl ether of bisphenol A (DGEBA). The system was activated with a dual thermal- and photo-curing system, which allowed us to initiate the epoxy polymerization at 120 °C until a certain degree of conversion, stop the reaction by cooling to induce crystallization and micellar elongation, and then continue the polymerization at room temperature by visible-light irradiation. In this way, crystallization of PE blocks took place in a matrix whose mobility was regulated by the degree of conversion reached at 120 °C. The mechanism of micellar elongation was conceptualized as a diffusion-limited colloid aggregation process which was induced by crystallization of PE cores. This assertion was supported by the evidence obtained from in situ small-angle X-ray scattering (SAXS), in combination with differential scanning calorimetry (DSC) and transmission electron microscopy (TEM).

Graphical abstract: Core-crystalline nanoribbons of controlled length via diffusion-limited colloid aggregation

Back to tab navigation

Supplementary files

Article information


Submitted
26 Mar 2019
Accepted
21 May 2019
First published
24 May 2019

Soft Matter, 2019,15, 4751-4760
Article type
Paper

Core-crystalline nanoribbons of controlled length via diffusion-limited colloid aggregation

R. N. Schmarsow, M. Ceolín, I. A. Zucchi and W. F. Schroeder, Soft Matter, 2019, 15, 4751
DOI: 10.1039/C9SM00615J

Social activity

Search articles by author

Spotlight

Advertisements