Polymerization-Induced Self-Assembly of Micelles Observed by Liquid Cell Transmission Electron Microscopy

Mollie A. Touve, C. Adrian Figg, Daniel B. Wright, Chiwoo Park, Joshua Cantlon, Brent S. Sumerlin*, Nathan C. Gianneschi

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

78 Scopus citations


In this paper, we describe the use of liquid cell transmission electron microscopy (LCTEM) for inducing and imaging the formation of spherical micelles from amphiphilic block copolymers. Within the irradiated region of the liquid cell, diblock copolymers were produced which self-assembled, yielding a targeted spherical micellar phase via polymerization-induced self-assembly (PISA). Critically, we demonstrate that nanoparticle formation can be visualized in situ and that in the presence of excess monomer, nanoparticle growth occurs to yield sizes and morphologies consistent with standard PISA conditions. Experiments were enabled by employing automated LCTEM sample preparation and by analyzing LCTEM data with multi-object tracking algorithms designed for the detection of low-contrast materials.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)543-547
Number of pages5
JournalACS Central Science
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 23 2018

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Chemical Engineering(all)
  • Chemistry(all)


Dive into the research topics of 'Polymerization-Induced Self-Assembly of Micelles Observed by Liquid Cell Transmission Electron Microscopy'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this