Tailoring Polymers for the Nano-World

Block copolymers are made of two (or more) sequences of incompatible repeat units. Due to a unique process called microphase separation, these materials self-organize into nano-objects in solution and periodic nano-scale morphologies in the solid state. Block copolymers are thus highly promising for nanotechnology, with applications ranging from drug delivery carriers to ultra-high density lithographic masks.

While most research on block copolymers concentrates on the most common monomers (e.g., styrenes, acrylates, and epoxides), the incorporation of tailor-made functionalities through synthetic chemistry has the potential of opening exciting new opportunities for these fascinating materials. We synthesize novel materials and study their properties, characterize their solid-state morphologies, investigate the interplay between different modes of interactions and material structure and behavior.