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Issue 18, 2013
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Block copolymer/ferroelectric nanoparticle nanocomposites

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Nanocomposites composed of diblock copolymer/ferroelectric nanoparticles were formed by selectively constraining ferroelectric nanoparticles (NPs) within diblock copolymer nanodomains via judicious surface modification of ferroelectric NPs. Ferroelectric barium titanate (BaTiO3) NPs with different sizes that are permanently capped with polystyrene chains (i.e., PS-functionalized BaTiO3NPs) were first synthesized by exploiting amphiphilic unimolecular star-like poly(acrylic acid)-block-polystyrene (PAA-b-PS) diblock copolymers as nanoreactors. Subsequently, PS-functionalized BaTiO3 NPs were preferentially sequestered within PS nanocylinders in the linear cylinder-forming polystyrene-block-poly(methyl methacrylate) (PS-b-PMMA) diblock copolymer upon mixing the BaTiO3 NPs with PS-b-PMMA. The use of PS-b-PMMA diblock copolymers, rather than traditional homopolymers, offers the opportunity for controlling the spatial organization of PS-functionalized BaTiO3 NPs in the PS-b-PMMA/BaTiO3 NP nanocomposites. Selective solvent vapor annealing was utilized to control the nanodomain orientation in the nanocomposites. Vertically oriented PS nanocylinders containing PS-functionalized BaTiO3 NPs were yielded after exposing the PS-b-PMMA/BaTiO3 NP nanocomposite thin film to acetone vapor, which is a selective solvent for PMMA block. The dielectric properties of nanocomposites in the microwave frequency range were investigated. The molecular weight of PS-b-PMMA and the size of BaTiO3 NPs were found to exert an apparent influence on the dielectric properties of the resulting nanocomposites.

Graphical abstract: Block copolymer/ferroelectric nanoparticle nanocomposites

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Publication details

The article was received on 13 Jun 2013, accepted on 05 Jul 2013 and first published on 11 Jul 2013

Article type: Paper
DOI: 10.1039/C3NR03036A
Nanoscale, 2013,5, 8695-8702

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    Block copolymer/ferroelectric nanoparticle nanocomposites

    X. Pang, Y. He, B. Jiang, J. Iocozzia, L. Zhao, H. Guo, J. Liu, M. Akinc, N. Bowler, X. Tan and Z. Lin, Nanoscale, 2013, 5, 8695
    DOI: 10.1039/C3NR03036A

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