Complex and Segmented Nanostructures from the Self-Assembly of Polyferrocenylsilane-Containing Block Copolymers
Dr George R Whittell from School of Chemistry at University of Bristol
NSQI Seminar Room
Polyferrocenylsilanes (PFSs) form a class of metallopolymer that contain iron centres in the main-chain structure. These materials are amenable to common macromolecular processing routes, and have found application as charge dissipation coatings, redox-active gels, precursors to magnetic ceramics, and as components in controlled-release capsules.1 Semi-crystalline examples, incorporated into block copolymers, have been shown to self-assemble in solution to form micelles with spherical, fibre-like2 and platelet3 structures, depending on the size of the PFS segment to that of the coblock. The formation of anisotropic objects (i.e. fibres and platelets) has been attributed to the presence of a crystalline core. This feature has also enabled the preparation of complex micelles with segmented core and corona structures, by the epitaxial crystallization of further block copolymers at the micelle periphery.4,5 In addition, the final dimensions of these structures are linearly related to the amount of copolymer added, thus permitting exquisite control over both size and composition. By judicially varying these parameters, it has been possible to realize colour-tuneable fluorescent micelles6 and induce the formation of supra-micelles,7 under appropriate conditions. A review of these nano- and micro-structures, and more recent results regarding the preparation of segmented platelets will be presented.
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