Get access

An Emerging Pore-Making Strategy: Confined Swelling-Induced Pore Generation in Block Copolymer Materials

Authors

  • Yong Wang,

    Corresponding author
    1. State Key Laboratory of Materials-Oriented Chemical Engineering and College of Chemistry and Chemical Engineering, Nanjing University of Technology, Nanjing, Jiangsu, 210009, P. R. China
    • State Key Laboratory of Materials-Oriented Chemical Engineering and College of Chemistry and Chemical Engineering, Nanjing University of Technology, Nanjing, Jiangsu, 210009, P. R. China.
    Search for more papers by this author
  • Fengbin Li

    1. State Key Laboratory of Materials-Oriented Chemical Engineering and College of Chemistry and Chemical Engineering, Nanjing University of Technology, Nanjing, Jiangsu, 210009, P. R. China
    Search for more papers by this author

Abstract

Block copolymers (BCPs) composed of two or more thermodynamically incompatible homopolymers self-assemble into periodic microdomains. Exposing self-assembled BCPs with solvents selective to one block causes a swelling of the domains composed of this block. Strong swelling in the confinement imposed by the matrix of the other glassy block leads to well-defined porous structures via morphology reconstruction. This confined swelling-induced pore-making process has emerged recently as a new strategy to produce porous materials due to synergic advantages that include extreme simplicity, high pore regularity, involvement of no chemical reactions, no weight loss, reversibility of the pore forming process, etc. The mechanism, kinetics, morphology, and governing parameters of the confined swelling-induced pore-making process in BCP thin films are discussed, and the main applications of nanoporous thin films in the fields of template synthesis, surface patterning, and guidance for the areal arrangements of nanomaterials and biomolecules are summarized. Recent, promising results of extending this mechanism to produce BCP nanofibers or nanotubes and bulk materials with well-defined porosity, which makes this strategy also attractive to researchers outside the nanocommunity, are also presented.

Ancillary