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Formation of Nanostructured Materials via Coalescence of Amphiphilic Hollow Particles

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journal contribution
posted on 22.02.2006, 00:00 by Panya Sunintaboon, Kin Man Ho, Pei Li, Stephen Z. D. Cheng, Frank W. Harris
A new, simplified route to amphiphilic core−shell nanotubes, microfibers, and microrods has been developed that does not involve the traditional utilization of well-defined block copolymers. Thus, amphiphilic graft copolymers (PEI-g-PMMA) are prepared by an aqueous free radical polymerization that self-assemble in situ to form uniform core−shell nanoparticles. The hydrophobic homopolymer (PMMA) that is also formed is incorporated in the cores. Slight cross-linking of the shells followed by extraction of the homopolymer results in hollow nanoparticles that coalesce to form nanotubes. When the shells are not cross-linked, the hollow particles coalesce to form microrods and microfibers. The sizes and shapes of the micromaterials can be controlled by varying the experimental conditions.