Beyond native block copolymer morphologies
Block copolymers are a well-studied and canonical self-assembly paradigm. Despite active research, new methods are continually emerging that allow the formation of yet more diverse and complex morphologies. In this review, we analyze and comment on the state-of-the-art with respect to exploiting block copolymers in order to form ‘non-native’ morphologies; that is, structures that deviate from the bulk equilibrium morphologies observed in the simplest block copolymer systems. The range of reviewed strategies can be organized with respect to where the final structural information is encoded. Self-assembly involves intrinsic encoding within the molecules themselves, while external fields or templates can be used to externally encode a desired structure. Hybrid strategies, which exploit the responsiveness of self-assembly but control it through external forces or process history, are particularly promising.
- This article is part of the themed collection: Advances in Directed Self-Assembly