Block copolymer-nanoparticle hybrid self-assembly

Tobias N. Hoheisel, Kahyun Hur, Ulrich B. Wiesner

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

145 Scopus citations


© 2014 Published by Elsevier Ltd. Polymer-inorganic hybrid materials provide exciting opportunities as they may display favorable properties from both constituents that are desired in applications including catalysis and energy conversion and storage. For the preparation of hybrid materials with well-defined morphologies, block copolymer-directed nanoparticle hybrids present a particularly promising approach. As will be described in this review, once the fundamental characteristics for successful nanostructure formation at or close to the thermodynamic equilibrium of these nanocomposites are identified, the approach can be generalized to various materials classes. In addition to the discussion of recent materials developments based on the use of AB diblock copolymers as well as ABC triblock terpolymers, this review will therefore emphasize progress in the fundamental understanding of the underlying formation mechanisms of such hybrid materials. To this end, critical experiments for, as well as theoretical progress in the description of these nanostructured block copolymer-based hybrid materials will be discussed. Rather than providing a comprehensive overview, the review will emphasize work by the Wiesner group at Cornell University, US, on block copolymer-directed nanoparticle assemblies as well as their use in first potential application areas. The results provide powerful design criteria for wet-chemical synthesis methodologies for the generation of functional nanomaterials for applications ranging from microelectronics to catalysis to energy conversion and storage.
Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)3-32
Number of pages30
JournalProgress in Polymer Science
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2015
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

KAUST Repository Item: Exported on 2020-10-01
Acknowledgements: UBW would like to thank the National Science Foundation, Division of Materials Research (DMR-1409105) for funding. Work related to energy converions and storage was further supported by the Cornell Fuel Cell Institute (CFCI) and the Energy Materials Center at Cornell (emc2), an Energy Frontier Research Center (EFRC) funded by the US Department of Energy, Office of Science, Office of Basic Energy Sciences under Award Number DE-SC0001086, as well as by the KAUST-CU center at Cornell. TNH would like to thank the Swiss National Science Fund for a fellowship. Special thanks go to Jörg Werner for help with graphics and Spencer Robbins for carefully reading parts of this review.
This publication acknowledges KAUST support, but has no KAUST affiliated authors.


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