Self-Assembly of Nanoparticle–Copolymer Mixtures: A Kinetic Point of View


  • We acknowledge the help of Tracy Chun Wang and Sergej Koutouzov with the FESEM measurements. This work was supported by the U.S. Department of Energy, the NSF-supported MRSEC at the University of Massachusetts Amherst, an NSF CAREER Award, and the Army Research Office. A. B. acknowledges support by the SFB 481 within the projects B10 and Z2. The use of the APS is supported by DOE, Office of Basic Energy Sciences, under Contract No. W-31-109-ENG-38. The technical support by the Sector 8 staff is gratefully appreciated. Supporting Information is available online from Wiley InterScience or from the author.


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The prediction of synergistic effects between two self-organizing systems is tested. In situ grazing-incidence small-angle X-ray scattering (see figure) is used during thermal annealing of a nanoparticle–copolymer mixture, and shows that the orientation of the microdomains begins at the free surface and propagates in the film towards the substrate. This synergistic interaction is shown to apply to both cylindrical and lamellar block-copolymer morphologies.