Synthesis of High χ–Low N Diblock Copolymers by Polymerization-Induced Self-Assembly

James Jennings, Erik J. Cornel, Matthew J. Derry, Deborah L. Beattie, Matthew J. Rymaruk, Oliver J. Deane, Anthony J. Ryan, Steven P. Armes

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Polymerization‐induced self‐assembly (PISA) enables the scalable synthesis of functional block copolymer nanoparticles with various morphologies. Herein we exploit this versatile technique to produce so‐called ‘high χ ‐low N ’ diblock copolymers that undergo nanoscale phase separation in the solid state to produce sub‐10 nm surface features. By varying the degree of polymerization of the stabilizer and core‐forming blocks, PISA provides rapid access to a wide range of diblock copolymers, and enables fundamental thermodynamic parameters to be determined. In addition, the pre‐organization of copolymer chains within sterically‐stabilized nanoparticles that occurs during PISA leads to enhanced phase separation relative to that achieved using solution‐cast molecularly‐dissolved copolymer chains.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)10848-10853
Number of pages6
JournalAngewandte Chemie
Issue number27
Early online date8 Apr 2020
Publication statusPublished - 26 Jun 2020

Bibliographical note

© 2020 The Authors. Published by Wiley-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA. This is an open access article under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits use, distribution and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Funding: Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council. Grant Number: EP/R003009/1; European Research Council. Grant Number: PISA320372


  • block copolymers
  • nanolithography
  • nanoparticle processing
  • polymerization-induced self-assembly
  • solid-state morphology


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