Thursday, October 20, 2011: 10:15 AM
101 C (Minneapolis Convention Center)
The spatial arrangement of nanoparticles in self-assembled matrices can result in interesting hybrid nanocomposite materials. Block copolymers provide a self-organizing system with great versatility as to the types of nanostructures formed and the conditions under which they are stable. We are exploring the effects of nanoparticles (surface chemistry, size, and loading) on the stability and structure of ordered phases formed by block copolymers. In particular, we are interested in the use of selective solvents in facilitating nanoparticle loading, equilibration time, and long-range structural alignment of the block copolymer hybrid. We discuss here systems of silica nanoparticles dispersed in the lyotropic liquid crystalline phases formed by poly(ethylene oxide)-poly(propylene oxide) block copolymers in water and its mixtures with organic solvents.