Binary Nanoparticles Coassembly in Bioinspired Block Copolymer Films: A Stepwise Synthesis Approach Using Multifunctional Catechol Groups and Magneto-Optical Properties

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Abstract

The development of hybrid films containing binary nanoparticles is one of the current key objectives in nanotechnology. Different nanoparticles dispersed in a polymer matrix exhibit diverse functions, and their properties are influenced by the interplay between the nanoparticles. The poly(vinyl catechol)-block-polystyrene (PVCa-b-PSt) block copolymer containing a catechol group, which is inspired by the adhesive protein found in the mussel foot, is an attractive platform for the coassembly of binary nanoparticles because the catechol group has various desirable properties, including the ability to coordinate metal oxides and reduce metal ions. In the fabrication of hybrid materials based on PVCa-b-PSt thin films, it is challenging to control the microdomain morphologies and the nanoparticle assembly process. In this work, we investigate the impact of solvent vapor annealing on microphase-separated nanostructures in lamellae-forming PVCa-b-PSt. We show that a fast solvent vapor annealing in a tetrahydrofuran atmosphere for 10 min induces the formation of perpendicularly oriented lamellar structures within PVCa-b-PSt thin films. We also propose a stepwise approach to create binary nanoparticles coassemblies in PVCa-b-PSt thin films. In the first step of this process, we exploit the metal-coordination properties of PVCa-b-PSt catechol groups to drive the directed self-assembly of magnetite (Fe3O4) nanoparticles for the preparation of magnetic hybrid thin films. The Fe3O4 nanoparticles are dispersed and localized mainly within PVCa microdomains of the lamellar PVCa-b-PSt thin films. In the second step, the catechol group reduces the Ag+ ion in the magnetic hybrid thin films, which leads to the formation of hybrid thin films containing Ag nanoparticles. Plasmonic Ag nanoparticles and magnetic Fe3O4 nanoparticles coassemble in the PVCa microdomains. The resulting plasmonic/magnetic hybrid thin films exhibit an enhanced magneto-optical Kerr effect because of the localized surface plasmon resonance of the Ag nanoparticles near Fe3O4 nanoparticles within the PVCa microdomains. Such magneto-optical (MO) properties make the hybrid thin films interesting for imaging of magnetic fields and MO devices. Our results indicate that PVCa-b-PSt is a promising platform for developing well-ordered hybrid thin films containing different nanoparticles.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1666-1674
Number of pages9
JournalACS Applied Nano Materials
Volume1
Issue number4
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2018 Apr 27

Keywords

  • bioinspired block copolymer
  • catechol
  • coassembly
  • magneto-optical Kerr effect
  • plasmonic effect
  • solvent vapor annealing

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Materials Science(all)

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