Final Report Summary - FUNCA (Functional Nanomaterials via Controlled Block Copolymer Assembly)
The ERC project comprised an ambitious 5 year interdisplinary research programme that introduces a fundamentally new platform for the creation of well-defined nanomaterials and the fabrication nanoelectronic and liquid crystal devices, current areas of intense scientific and technological interest. The new approach involves the use of block copolymer micelles and block comicelles prepared by Crystallization-Driven Living Polymerization (CDLP) processes. This novel method allows unprecedented access to well-defined micelle architectures (with size control, narrow size distribution, and access to segmented structures that possess heterojunctions). Crosslinking was used to optimize micelle mechanical properties where necessary. The new platform offers very promising advantages that will allow the approach to complement other methods for realising nanomaterials – these include ambient temperature synthesis and solution processing, easy control of dimensions and aspect ratio, electronic properties, and semiconductor/semiconductor or semiconductor/dielectric junction fabrication. In addition, the use of hydrophilic coronas has allowed the self-assembly processes and subsequent manipulations to be performed in water.