Scalable preparation of crystalline nanorods through sequential polymerization-induced and crystallization-driven self-assembly of alternating copolymers†
We report a sequential polymerization-induced self-assembly (PISA) and crystallization-driven self-assembly (CDSA) method (sequential PI/CDSA) to prepare crystalline nanorods on a large scale. The self-assembly was initiated by the click copolymerization between an epoxy and amine monomer pair to obtain alternating copolymers, and performed in one pot but with two steps. In the first step, the PISA of these two monomers generated small spheres; in the second step, the small spheres turned into nanorods through a CDSA process. The obtained nanorods are 200 nm in diameter and several microns in length, and have an ultrathin lamellar structure. This work will broaden the toolbox for polymer self-assembly for the scalable preparation of non-spherical supramolecular materials.