Although fullerene has been widely used in many areas, its poor compatibility with most other materials is a big challenge for material processing, which can be surpassed by grafting fullerene on polymers. As presented on page 3572, Junting Li and Brian Benicewicz designed a facile synthetic route for side-chain fullerene polymers with simultaneous control over the molecular weight, fullerene content, and architecture using RAFT polymerization and a click reaction. The strong interactions between fullerenes cause collapse of the polymer chains, thus forming “patchy” nanoparticles with varying amounts of fullerenes on the surface of the particles. The cover image depicts the unique self-assemblies of the patchy particles into well-dispersed nanoparticles, nanoparticle strings, and nanoparticle sheets depending on their fullerene content and chain length. This predictable self-assembly behavior with well-defined polymers may find applications in the design of new functional materials. Image created by Yan Liang (l2xy2.com).
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