Controlled Nanopores by Supramolecular Assembly of End-Functionalized Dendrimer and Homopolymer Blend

Supramolecular assembly of end-functionalized polymers, forming block copolymer-like supramolecules based on ionic interaction, has been utilized as a simple and facile method for generating functionalized nanoporous thin film. Here, the binary blend film of aminated poly­(ethylene oxide) dendrimer (APEO-G) and sulfonated polystyrene (SPS) at a stoichiometric composition after benzene/water solvent vapor annealing exhibits spherical domains in multilayers over a large area. By controlling the number of end-functional arms of dendrimer via divergent ring-opening polymerization of ethylene oxide as well as the molecular weights of SPS, the domain sizes can be controlled ranging from mainly 34 to 54 nm, even to 131 nm. Our supramolecular-assembly system provides an alternative approach to fabricating a functional nanotemplate by easily etching domains with selective solvent treatment and leaving functional groups at the pore surfaces.