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Issue 21, 2011
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Helical assemblies from chiral block copolymers

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Helical assemblies from chiral block copolymers (BCPs*) have been intensively studied due to their unique hierarchical architectures arising from the interplay of various secondary interactions. Helical architectures from BCP* self-assembly in solution have been found in peptide-based and lactide-based BCPs*. Inspired by the concept of chiral information transfer from the molecular level to macroscopic features, polystyrene-block-poly(L-lactide) (PS-PLLA) BCPs* composed of an achiral PS block and a chiral PLLA block has been designed for fabrication of helical assemblies. In contrast to a variety of helical assemblies resulting from solution, a helical phase (H*) having hexagonally packed helical PLLA microdomains in a PS matrix can be obtained in bulk by introducing chirality starting from the molecular level for BCP self-assembly. Phase behavior was examined and phase transitions from the H* phase to both cylinder and gyroid phases were found after long-time annealing, suggesting that the H* phase is a long-lived metastable phase. The morphologies of the H* phase can be manipulated into stretched helices (eventually leading to straight cylinders) by applying the stimulation (i.e., crystallization) so as to result in spring-like behavior. Also, by taking advantage of the degradable character of polylactides, a nanoporous PS polymer can be obtained after PLLA hydrolysis to be used as a template for fabrication of helical nanohybrids.

Graphical abstract: Helical assemblies from chiral block copolymers

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Publication details

The article was received on 18 May 2011, accepted on 01 Jul 2011 and first published on 29 Jul 2011

Article type: Highlight
DOI: 10.1039/C1SM05921A
Citation: Soft Matter, 2011,7, 9797-9803

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    Helical assemblies from chiral block copolymers

    Y. Chiang, R. Ho, C. Burger and H. Hasegawa, Soft Matter, 2011, 7, 9797
    DOI: 10.1039/C1SM05921A

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