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Synthesis of ABn-type colloidal molecules by polymerization-induced particle-assembly (PIPA)

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Abstract

Conventional synthesis of colloidal molecules (CMs) mainly depends on particle-based self-assembly of patchy building blocks. However, direct access to CMs by the self-assembly of isotropic colloidal subunits remains challenging. Here, we report the mass production of ABn-type CMs by polymerization-induced particle-assembly (PIPA), using a linear ABC triblock terpolymer system. Starting from diblock copolymer spheres, the association of spheres takes place in situ during the polymerization of the third block. The third blocks aggregate into attractive domains, which connect spheres into CMs. The stability of CMs is ensured, as long as the conversions are limited to ca. 50%, and the pH is low. The valence of ABn-type CMs (n = 2ā€“6) is determined by the volume ratio of the polymer blocks. By tuning the volume ratio, 78.5% linear AB2-type CMs are yielded. We demonstrate that polymerization-induced particle-assembly is successful for the scalable fabrication of ABn-type CMs (50 g Lāˆ’1), and can be easily extended to vastly different triblock terpolymers, for a wide range of applications.

Graphical abstract: Synthesis of ABn-type colloidal molecules by polymerization-induced particle-assembly (PIPA)

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Article information


Submitted
13 Jan 2020
Accepted
27 Jan 2020
First published
28 Jan 2020

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

Chem. Sci., 2020, Advance Article
Article type
Edge Article

Synthesis of ABn-type colloidal molecules by polymerization-induced particle-assembly (PIPA)

D. Li, X. Chen, M. Zeng, J. Ji, Y. Wang, Z. Yang and J. Yuan, Chem. Sci., 2020, Advance Article , DOI: 10.1039/D0SC00219D

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