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.
- 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.