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Nanoscopic and Hierachical Materials via Living Crystallization-Driven Self-Assembly

Periodic Reporting for period 1 - 2DHIBSA (Nanoscopic and Hierachical Materials via Living Crystallization-Driven Self-Assembly)

Reporting period: 2018-05-01 to 2019-10-31

The creation of well-defined 2D functional materials that exist on a length-scale of nanometers to microns is of widespread interest. In this proposal we have tackled this issue by exploiting the unique opportunities made possible by recent developments with the living crystallization-driven self- assembly (CDSA) platform. Using this solution processing approach, amphiphilic block copolymers (BCPs) with crystallizable blocks, related amphiphiles, and polymers with charged end groups have been used to predictably construct low dispersity samples of tailored, functional soft matter-based 2D nanostructures with controlled shape, size, and spatially-defined chemistries. These assemblies are of interest in the fields of liquid crystals, interface stabilization, catalysis, and nanomedicine which are all of societal importance.
During the 18 months of this project we have used the crystallization-driven self-assembly solution (CDSA) processing approach with amphiphilic charge-capped homopolymers and block copolymers (BCPs) with crystallizable blocks to predictably construct 2D nanostructures with controlled shape, size, and spatially-defined chemistries. In particular, 2D platelets based on biodegradable polycaprolactone have been prepared and, after solving problems for CDSA of 1D polylactide assemblies, 2D polylactide assemblies and related materials based have been prepared. These 2D assemblies have potential applications in nanomedicine. In addition, platelets were accessed based on π-conjugated systems such as polythiophenes which are of interest as a result of their potential long-distance exciton diffusion and possible applications in optoelectronics. These results are described in 4 publications and several other manuscripts are in various stages of preparation.
In particular, 2D platelets based on biodegradable polycaprolactone and polylactide have been prepared. These 2D assemblies have potential applications in nanomedicine. In addition, platelets were accessed based on π-conjugated systems such as polythiophenes which are of interest as a result of their potential long-distance exciton diffusion and possible applications in optoelectronics. Advances in heteroepitaxial growth have also been achieved to allow the formation of assemblies derived from different crystallizable polymeric materials.
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