Core-shell cylinder (CSC) nanotemplates comprising mussel-inspired catechol-containing triblock copolymers for silver nanoparticle arrays and ion conductive channels†
Catechol moieties, which are found in mussel-adhesive proteins, allow the interaction of various kinds of materials that results in substantial adhesion to a wide variety of materials and in the reduction of metal ions to solid metals. Various types of catechol-containing polymers mimicking adhesion and reduction properties have been reported, however, due to its reactivity to a wide variety of functional groups, only a few reports about the formation of block and sequence controlled copolymers containing catechol groups. This is the first report about the synthesis of triblock copolymers containing catechol groups by reversible-addition fragmentation transfer (RAFT) polymerization. The synthesized triblock copolymer forms a core–shell cylinder (CSC) phase-separated structure, in which PVCa domains located the surface of cylinders, and it works as a template for silver nanoparticle arrays and a proton conductive channel. Since triblock copolymer has broader latitude to form phase-separated structures, the triblock copolymer containing catechol groups can be suitable for templates of inorganic nanoparticle arrays.