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Ordered Surface Nanostructures Self-Assembled from Rod–Coil Block Copolymers on Microspheres

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journal contribution
posted on 07.10.2019 by Wenheng Xu, Zhanwen Xu, Chunhua Cai, Jiaping Lin, Shengmiao Zhang, Liangshun Zhang, Shaoliang Lin, Yuan Yao, Huimin Qi
An ordered surface nanostructure endows materials advanced functions. However, fabricating ordered surface-patterned particles via the polymer self-assembly approach is a challenge. Here we report that poly­(γ-benzyl-l-glutamate)-block-poly­(ethylene glycol) rod–coil block copolymers are able to form uniform-surface micelles on polystyrene microspheres through a solution self-assembly approach. The size of the surface micelles can be varied by the molecular weight of the block copolymers. These surface micelles are arranged in a manner consistent with the Euler theorem. Most of the micelles are six-fold coordinated, and the number difference between the five-fold and the seven-fold coordination is 12. Simulations on model systems qualitatively reproduced the experimental findings and provided direct observations for the surface-patterned particles, including the polymer chain packing manner in surface micelles at the molecular level and the array feature of the surface micelles through 2D projections of the surface patterns.