Polymerization‐induced self‐assembly (PISA) enables the scalable synthesis of functional block copolymer nanoparticles with various morphologies. Herein we exploit this versatile technique to produce so‐called ‘high χ ‐low N ’ diblock copolymers that undergo nanoscale phase separation in the solid state to produce sub‐10 nm surface features. By varying the degree of polymerization of the stabilizer and core‐forming blocks, PISA provides rapid access to a wide range of diblock copolymers, and enables fundamental thermodynamic parameters to be determined. In addition, the pre‐organization of copolymer chains within sterically‐stabilized nanoparticles that occurs during PISA leads to enhanced phase separation relative to that achieved using solution‐cast molecularly‐dissolved copolymer chains.
Bibliographical note© 2020 The Authors. Published by Wiley-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA. This is an open access article under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits use, distribution and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
Funding: Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council. Grant Number: EP/R003009/1; European Research Council. Grant Number: PISA320372
- block copolymers
- nanoparticle processing
- polymerization-induced self-assembly
- solid-state morphology