Top Left: Schematic of ternary polymer monolayers. Top Right: AFM images of experimental systems, at different polymer fractions, compared with corresponding SCFT calculations. Bottom: phase diagram.

Top Left: Schematic of ternary polymer monolayers. Top Right: AFM images of experimental systems, at different polymer fractions, compared with corresponding SCFT calculations. Bottom: phase diagram.

Scientific Achievement

By creating a dense layer with three types of polymer molecules bound to a surface, we have demonstrated unique self-assembled patterns both theoretically and experimentally.

Significance and Impact

Programmable polymer domains can be used to template novel electronic or photonic material, for example to precisely place quantum dots for controlled energy transfer. Polymer domains on nanoparticles can control their assembly to create new responsive materials.

Research Details

  • Self-consistent field theory (SCFT) was used to calculate the self-assembled patterns and phase diagram for ternary mixtures of surface-bound polymers.
  • Ternary polymer monolayers were synthesized by polymerizing from a surface and shown to form laterally-phase separated domains in agreement with theory.