290543 Processing and Characterization of Diblock Copolymer Self-Assemblies

Monday, October 29, 2012
Hall B (Convention Center )
Emily Wallitsch, Lafayette College, Easton, PA, Kenneth R. Shull, Northwestern University, Evanston, IL and Evan Laprade, Materials Science and Engineering Department, Northwestern University, Evanston, IL

Block copolymer self-assembly is an extremely applicable technology that is useful in a variety of real world applications, including drug delivery, water filtration and, as is used in this study, bio-mineralization templates. The diblock copolymer, poly(methyl-methacrylate)-co-poly(tert-butyl-methacrylate) (PMMA-PtbMA), can be used as a template by forming cylindrical micelles with a PtbMA corona. Once these structures form, the PtbMA can be converted to Poly(methacrylic acid) (PMAA), which would cause negatively charged coronas and facilitate calcification. Ideally these micelles would form cylindrical morphologies under ambient conditions; however, they form a kinetically stable spherical shape. Processing conditions including different film deposition techniques (i.e. spin coating, dip coating and convective assembly), solvent annealing and thermal processing were used in order to alter the shape of the micelles to a thermodynamically stable cylindrical shape. While none of the attempted techniques resulted in cylinders, convective assembly produced aligned spherical results that could potentially coalesce to form continuous cylinders.  Ideally the next step in this experimentation would be to attempt film deposition on a different substrate or use a block copolymer with the same weight ratio but smaller overall weight.

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