Multicomponent Nanomaterials with Complex Networked Architectures from Orthogonal Degradation and Binary Metal Backfilling in ABC Triblock Terpolymers

Christina D. Cowman, Elliot Padgett, Kwan Wee Tan, Robert Hovden, Yibei Gu, Nina Andrejevic, David Muller, Geoffrey W. Coates, Ulrich Wiesner

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

67 Scopus citations


Selective degradation of block copolymer templates and backfilling the open mesopores is an effective strategy for the synthesis of nanostructured hybrid and inorganic materials. Incorporation of more than one type of inorganic material in orthogonal ways enables the synthesis of multicomponent nanomaterials with complex yet well-controlled architectures; however, developments in this field have been limited by the availability of appropriate orthogonally degradable block copolymers for use as templates. We report the synthesis and self-assembly into cocontinuous network structures of polyisoprene-block-polystyrene-block-poly(propylene carbonate) where the polyisoprene and poly(propylene carbonate) blocks can be orthogonally removed from the polymer film. Through sequential block etching and backfilling the resulting mesopores with different metals, we demonstrate first steps toward the preparation of three-component polymer-inorganic hybrid materials with two distinct metal networks. Multiblock copolymers in which two blocks can be degraded and backfilled independently of each other, without interference from the other, may be used in a wide range of applications requiring periodically ordered complex multicomponent nanoarchitectures.
Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)6026-6033
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of the American Chemical Society
Issue number18
StatePublished - 2015
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

KAUST Repository Item: Exported on 2021-10-15
Acknowledgements: We thank the National Science Foundation for support (DMR-1409105 and CHE-1112278). Electron microscopy characterization was supported by the Energy Materials Center at Cornell (EMC2), an Energy Frontier Research Center funded by the U.S. Department of Energy, Office of Science, Office of Basic Energy Sciences under Award Number DE-SC0001086. C.D.C. is the recipient of an NSF Graduate Research Fellowship Program (GRFP) fellowship (DGE-1144153) and acknowledges support from the NSF IGERT program (DGE-0654193). This work was produced using Cornell Center for Materials Research (CCMR) facilities (DMR-1120296). Characterization was done in part at Cornell High Energy Synchrotron Source (CHESS) funded by the National Science Foundation and the National Institutes of Health/National Institute of General Medical Sciences under NSF award DMR-0936384. Facilities were provided in part by the King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST)-Cornell Center for Energy and Sustainability. The authors gratefully acknowledge Mr. Joerg Werner and Mr. Peter Beaucage for assistance with SAXS measurements.
This publication acknowledges KAUST support, but has no KAUST affiliated authors.

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Colloid and Surface Chemistry
  • Chemistry(all)
  • Catalysis


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