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Issue 3, 2016
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Block copolymers: controlling nanostructure to generate functional materials – synthesis, characterization, and engineering

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Abstract

In this perspective, we survey recent advances in the synthesis and characterization of block copolymers, discuss several key materials opportunities enabled by block copolymers, and highlight some of the challenges that currently limit further realization of block copolymers in promising nanoscale applications. One significant challenge, especially as the complexity and functionality of designer macromolecules increases, is the requirement of multiple complementary techniques to fully characterize the resultant polymers and nanoscale materials. Thus, we highlight select characterization and theoretical methods and discuss how future advances can improve understanding of block copolymer systems. In particular, we consider the application of theoretical/simulation methods to the rationalization, and prediction, of observed experimental self-assembly phenomena. Finally, we explore several next steps for the field and emphasize some general areas of emerging research that could unlock additional opportunities for nanostructure-forming block copolymers in functional materials.

Graphical abstract: Block copolymers: controlling nanostructure to generate functional materials – synthesis, characterization, and engineering

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Article information


Submitted
17 Sep 2015
Accepted
20 Dec 2015
First published
13 Jan 2016

This article is Open Access
All publication charges for this article have been paid for by the Royal Society of Chemistry

Chem. Sci., 2016,7, 1674-1689
Article type
Perspective

Block copolymers: controlling nanostructure to generate functional materials – synthesis, characterization, and engineering

T. H. Epps, III and R. K. O'Reilly, Chem. Sci., 2016, 7, 1674
DOI: 10.1039/C5SC03505H

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