Three-dimensional self-assembly of rodcoil copolymer nanostructures

L. H. Radzilowski, B. O. Carragher, S. I. Stupp*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

148 Scopus citations


We have used electron tomography to characterize the self-assembly of nanostructures formed by rodcoil copolymers. The rodcoil copolymers used contained a perfectly monodisperse rod segment prepared by stepwise synthesis. The chemical compound rod segment is, in turn, covalently linked at one terminus to an end-functionalized polyisoprene segment prepared by living polymerization. We found that rodcoil molecules with rod volume fraction equal to 0.36 self-assemble into long strips with a nanoscale cross section. At lower rod volume fractions, the rodcoil molecule. self-assemble into supramolecular aggregates with nanoscale x,y,z dimensions. Interestingly, the nanostructures organize into discrete layers of uniform thickness, containing in some cases a hexagonal 2D superlattice of rodcoil aggregates. Furthermore, nanostructures were found to self-assemble in all cases with three-dimensional order across the layers. The unique three-dimensional order observed in multilayers of the nanostructures must originate in the anisotropic aggregation of rod segments and the consequent space filling requirements as well as coil entropie penalties.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2110-2119
Number of pages10
Issue number7
StatePublished - Apr 7 1997

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Organic Chemistry
  • Polymers and Plastics
  • Inorganic Chemistry
  • Materials Chemistry


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