Striped, Ellipsoidal Particles by Controlled Assembly of Diblock Copolymers
Control of interfacial interactions leads to a dramatic change in shape and morphology for particles based on poly(styrene-b-2-vinylpyridine) diblock copolymers. Key to these changes is the addition of Au-based surfactant nanoparticles (SNPs) which are adsorbed at the interface between block copolymer-containing emulsion droplets and the surrounding amphiphilic surfactant to afford asymmetric, ellipsoid particles. The mechanism of formation for these novel nanostructures was investigated by systematically varying the volume fraction of SNPs, with the results showing the critical nature that the segregation of SNPs to specific interfaces plays in controlling structure. A theoretical description of the system allows the size distribution and aspect ratio of the asymmetric block copolymer colloidal particles to be correlated with the experimental results.