Homo- and co-polymerization of polysytrene-block-poly(acrylic acid)-coated metal nanoparticles
Chong, Wen Han
Date of Issue2014
School of Physical and Mathematical Sciences
Amphiphilic block copolymers such as polystyrene-block-poly(acrylic acid) (PSPAA) give micelles that are known to undergo sphere-to-cylinder shape transformation. Exploiting this polymer property, core–shell nanoparticles coated in PSPAA can be “polymerized” into long chains following the chain-growth polymerization mode. This method is now extended to include a variety of different nanoparticles. A case study on the assembly process was carried out to understand the influence of the PAA block length, the surface ligand, and the size and morphology of the monomer nanoparticles. Shortening the PAA block promotes the reorganization of the amphiphilic copolymer in the micelles, which is essential for assembling large Au nanoparticles. Small Au nanoparticles can be directly “copolymerized” with empty PSPAA micelles into chains. The reaction time, acid quantity, and the [Au nanoparticles]/[PSPAA micelles] concentration ratio played important roles in controlling the sphere–cylinder–vesicle conversion of the PSPAA micelles, giving rise to different kinds of random “copolymers”. With this knowledge, a general method is then developed to synthesize homo, random, and block “copolymers”, where the basic units include small Au nanoparticles (d = 16 nm), large Au nanoparticles (d = 32 nm), Au nanorods, Te nanowires, and carbon nanotubes. Given the lack of means for assembling nanoparticles, advancing synthetic capabilities is of crucial importance. Our work provides convenient routes for combining nanoparticles into long-chain structures, facilitating rational design of complex nanostructures in the future.
© 2014 American Chemical Society. This is the author created version of a work that has been peer reviewed and accepted for publication by ACS Nano, American Chemical Society. It incorporates referee’s comments but changes resulting from the publishing process, such as copyediting, structural formatting, may not be reflected in this document. The published version is available at: [http://dx.doi.org/10.1021/nn502084a].