A general route to nanocrystal kebabs periodically assembled on stretched flexible polymer shish

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Science Advances  27 Mar 2015:
Vol. 1, no. 2, e1500025
DOI: 10.1126/sciadv.1500025

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Assembling nanoparticles into one-dimensional (1D) nanostructures with precisely controlled size and shape renders the exploration of new properties and construction of 1D miniaturized devices possible. The physical properties of such nanostructures depend heavily on the size, chemical composition, and surface chemistry of nanoparticle constituents, as well as the close proximity of adjacent nanoparticles within the 1D nanostructure. Chemical synthesis provides an intriguing alternative means of creating 1D nanostructures composed of self-assembled nanoparticles in terms of material diversity, size controllability, shape regularity, and low-cost production. However, this is an area where progress has been slower. We report an unconventional yet general strategy to craft an exciting variety of 1D nanonecklace-like nanostructures comprising uniform functional nanodiscs periodically assembled along a stretched flexible polymer chain by capitalizing on judiciously designed amphiphilic worm-like diblock copolymers as nanoreactors. These nanostructures can be regarded as organic-inorganic shish-kebabs, in which nanodisc kebabs are periodically situated on a stretched polymer shish. Simulations based on self-consistent field theory reveal that the formation of organic-inorganic shish-kebabs is guided by the self-assembled elongated star-like diblock copolymer constituents constrained on the highly stretched polymer chain.

  • uniform
  • organic-inorganic shish-kebabs
  • nanonecklace-like nanostructures
  • nanodisks
  • amphiphilic worm-like diblock copolymer
  • nanoreactors
  • simulations
  • self-consistent field theory

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