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Issue 1, 2019
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Spin-echo small-angle neutron scattering (SESANS) studies of diblock copolymer nanoparticles

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Poly(glycerol monomethacrylate)–poly(benzyl methacrylate) (PGMA–PBzMA) diblock copolymer nanoparticles were synthesized via polymerization-induced self-assembly (PISA) using reversible addition–fragmentation chain-transfer (RAFT) aqueous emulsion polymerization in D2O. Such PISA syntheses produce sterically-stabilized nanoparticles in situ and can be performed at relatively high copolymer concentrations (up to 50 wt%). This PGMA–PBzMA formulation is known to form only spherical nanoparticles in water using aqueous emulsion polymerization (Macromolecules, 2014, 47, 5613–5623), which makes it an ideal model system for exploring new characterization methods. The polymer micelles were characterized using small-angle X-ray scattering (SAXS) and a recently developed form of neutron scattering, spin-echo small-angle neutron scattering (SESANS). As far as we are aware, this is the first report of a study of polymer micelles by SESANS, and the data agree well with reciprocal-space scattering. Using this technique enables characterization of the concentrated, as synthesized dispersions directly without dilution, and this will provide a method to study self-assembled polymer systems that have concentration dependent morphologies, while still maintaining the advantages of scattering techniques.

Graphical abstract: Spin-echo small-angle neutron scattering (SESANS) studies of diblock copolymer nanoparticles

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Publication details

The article was received on 11 Jul 2018, accepted on 15 Nov 2018 and first published on 16 Nov 2018

Article type: Communication
DOI: 10.1039/C8SM01425F
Citation: Soft Matter, 2019,15, 17-21

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    Spin-echo small-angle neutron scattering (SESANS) studies of diblock copolymer nanoparticles

    G. N. Smith, V. J. Cunningham, S. L. Canning, M. J. Derry, J. F. K. Cooper, A. L. Washington and S. P. Armes, Soft Matter, 2019, 15, 17
    DOI: 10.1039/C8SM01425F

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