Rational design of ABC triblock terpolymer solution nanostructures with controlled patch morphology

Tina I. Löbling, Oleg Borisov*, Johannes S. Haataja, Olli Ikkala, André H. Gröschel, Axel H E Müller

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

77 Citations (Scopus)
157 Downloads (Pure)

Abstract

Block copolymers self-assemble into a variety of nanostructures that are relevant for science and technology. While the assembly of diblock copolymers is largely understood, predicting the solution assembly of triblock terpolymers remains challenging due to complex interplay of block/block and block/solvent interactions. Here we provide guidelines for the self-assembly of linear ABC triblock terpolymers into a large variety of multicompartment nanostructures with C corona and A/B cores. The ratio of block lengths NC/NA thereby controls micelle geometry to spheres, cylinders, bilayer sheets and vesicles. The insoluble blocks then microphase separate to core A and surface patch B, where N B controls the patch morphology to spherical, cylindrical, bicontinuous and lamellar. The independent control over both parameters allows constructing combinatorial libraries of unprecedented solution nanostructures, including spheres-on-cylinders/sheets/vesicles, cylinders-on-sheets/vesicles, and sheets/vesicles with bicontinuous or lamellar membrane morphology (patchy polymersomes). The derived parameters provide a logical toolbox towards complex self-assemblies for soft matter nanotechnologies.

Original languageEnglish
Article number12097
Pages (from-to)1-10
JournalNature Communications
Volume7
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 29 Jun 2016
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed

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    Löbling, T. I., Borisov, O., Haataja, J. S., Ikkala, O., Gröschel, A. H., & Müller, A. H. E. (2016). Rational design of ABC triblock terpolymer solution nanostructures with controlled patch morphology. Nature Communications, 7, 1-10. [12097]. https://doi.org/10.1038/ncomms12097