Segregation of maghemite nanoparticles within symmetric diblock copolymer and triblock terpolymer patterns under solvent vapor annealing

Georgios Zapsas, Dimitrios Moschovas, Konstantinos Ntetsikas, Andreas Karydis-Messinis, Nikolaos Chalmpes, Antonios Kouloumpis, Dimitrios Gournis, Nikolaos E. Zafeiropoulos, Apostolos Avgeropoulos

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


Block copolymers (BCPs), through their self-assembly, provide an excellent guiding platform for precise controlled localization of maghemite nanoparticles (MNPs). Diblock copolymers (di/BCP) represent the most applied matrix to host filler components due to their morphological simplicity. A series of nanocomposites based on diblock copolymer or triblock terpolymer matrices and magnetic nanoparticles were prepared to study and compare the influence of an additional block into the BCP matrix. MNPs were grafted with low molecular weight polystyrene (PS) chains in order to be segregated in a specific phase of the matrix to induce selective localization. After the mixing of the BCPs with 10% w/v PS-g-MNPs, nanocomposite thin films were formed by spin coating. Solvent vapor annealing (SVA) enabled the PS-g-MNPs selective placement within the PS domains of the BCPs, as revealed by atomic force microscopy (AFM). The recorded images have proven that high amounts of functionalized MNPs can be controllably localized within the same block (PS), despite the architecture of the BCPs (AB vs. ABC). The adopted lamellar structure of the "neat" BCP thin films was maintained for MNPs loading approximately up to 10% w/v, while, for higher content, the BCP adopted lamellar morphology is partially disrupted, or even disappears for both AB and ABC architectures.
Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1286
Issue number6
StatePublished - Mar 12 2020

Bibliographical note

KAUST Repository Item: Exported on 2020-10-01
Acknowledgements: G.Z., D.M., K.N., A.M.K., N.Z. and A.A. would like to acknowledge the Network of Research Supporting Laboratories at the University of Ioannina for using the Electron Microscopy Facilities. G.Z. would like to acknowledge co-funding by the European Union-European Social Fund (ESF) and Greek national funds through the Operational Program "Education and Lifelong Learning" of the National Strategic Reference Framework (NSRF)-Research Funding Program: Heracleitus II. Investing in knowledge society through the European Social Fund.


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