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Living Light-Induced Crystallization-Driven Self-Assembly for Rapid Preparation of Semiconducting Nanofibers

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journal contribution
posted on 01.05.2018 by Suyong Shin, Florian Menk, Youngjin Kim, Jeewoo Lim, Kookheon Char, Rudolf Zentel, Tae-Lim Choi
Well-defined nanostructures composed of conjugated polymers have attracted significant attention due to their intriguing electronic and optical properties. However, precise control of the size and uniformity of these semiconducting nanostructures is still rare and challenging, despite recent advances in strategies to obtain self-assembled nanostructures with narrow dispersions. Herein, we demonstrate the preparation of fluorescent conjugated block copolymers by one-shot polymerization and rapid formation of nanofibers in a few minutes via light-induced crystallization-driven self-assembly, driven by facile cis-to-trans photoisomerization of its poly­(p-phenylene­vinylene) blocks. Furthermore, living self-assembly was possible, allowing not only nanofibers with excellent length control and narrow size distribution but also ABA triblock comicelles and gradient comicelles, to be produced by seeded growth. Lastly, the seeded growth could be activated and deactivated repeatedly by switching the light on and off, analogous to light-induced living radical polymerization.