Growth and Crystallization of Metal-Containing Block Copolymer Nanotubes in a Selective Solvent


  • This study was partially supported by the STC Program of the National Science Foundation (CHE-9876674). I.M. thanks the European Union for a Marie-Curie Chair. R.J.S. is grateful to the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation and Dr. J. F. Douglas (National Institute of Standards and Technology) for insightful discussions. We are indebted to Dr. J. Raez for synthesizing the PFS80-b-PDMS960 block copolymer. Research at Los Alamos National Laboratory is performed under the auspices of the National Nuclear Security Administration of the U.S. Department of Energy under Contract No. DE-AC52-06NA25396.


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Highly asymmetric metal-containing block copolymers are capable of forming nanotubes in solutions containing a nonpolar solvent. In this study, the time-dependent formation of these nanotubes is investigated and reveals how the aggregate nanostructures develop (see figure for an example at an early stage). These nanotubes are semicrystalline (see the diffraction pattern in the inset), suggesting that crystallization is at least partially responsible for the unique morphology formed by these block copolymers.