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Self-Assembly of All-Conjugated Poly(3-alkylthiophene) Diblock Copolymer Nanostructures from Mixed Selective Solvents

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journal contribution
posted on 22.06.2010, 00:00 by Ming He, Lei Zhao, Jun Wang, Wei Han, Yuliang Yang, Feng Qiu, Zhiqun Lin
The use of mixed selective solvents provides an effective means to control self-assembly of the all-conjugated diblock copolymer poly(3-butylthiophene)-b-poly(3-hexylthiophene) (P3BHT) into nanostructured morphologies. The solvent and temperature effects on the self-assembly of P3BHT during cooling and subsequent crystallization were explored for the first time. Depending on the poor/good solvent ratio (i.e., anisole/chloroform), P3BHT chains experience different kinetic pathways, yielding nanowires at a low anisole/chloroform ratio (≤2:1), and nanorings coexisted with some nanowires at a high anisole/chloroform ratio (≥6:1). The nanowires are formed as a direct consequence of strong interchain π−π stacking, while the formation of nanorings is governed by solvophobic interactions between conjugated blocks and the poor solvent anisole to minimize the unfavorable contacts between the P3BT block (∼50 °C) and later P3HT (below 35 °C) block and anisole.