Transformer- Induced Metamorphosis of Polymeric Nanoparticle Shape at Room Temperature

The Laboratory of Polymeric Materials, in collaboration with the Laboratory of Food and Soft Materials, have discovered that the addition of a small organic molecule (transformer) can induce the metamorphosis of the nanoparticle without altering the chemical structure of the constituent polymers. Our work was highlighted as a very important paper (VIP) by the reviewers of Angewandte Chemie.

Transformer-​Induced Metamorphosis of Polymeric Nanoparticle Shape at Room Temperature

Controlled polymerizations have enabled the production of nanostructured materials with different shapes, each exhibiting distinct properties. Despite the importance of shape, current morphological transformation strategies are limited in polymer scope, alter the chemical structure, require high temperatures, and are fairly tedious.

In this work, we present a rapid and versatile morphological transformation strategy that operates at room temperature and does not impair the chemical structure of the constituent polymers. By simply adding a molecular transformer to an aqueous dispersion of polymeric nanoparticles, a rapid evolution to the next higher-order morphology was observed, yielding a range of morphologies from a single starting material. Significantly, this approach can be applied to nanoparticles produced by disparate block copolymers obtained by various synthetic techniques including emulsion polymerization, polymerization-induced self-assembly and traditional solution self-assembly.

We are very grateful to the Laboratory of Food and Soft Materials for supporting us to characterize our polymeric nanoparticles via SAXS.

Transformer-Induced Metamorphosis of Polymeric Nanoparticle Shape at Room Temperature, K. Parkatzidis, N.P. Truong, M. Rolland, V. Lutz-Bueno, R. Mezzenga, A. Anastasaki, Angew. Chem. Int. Ed. 2022, DOI:10.1002/anie.202113424call_made. PDFcall_made

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