Polymer-regulated pattern formation in pseudo-2D arrays of a fullerene derivative at the solution - Air interface

Shani Eliyahu, Chunlai Ren, Igal Szleifer, Rachel Yerushalmi-Rozen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Self-assembly of nanoparticles (NPs) into nonclose-packed (ncp), semi-two-dimensional (2D) arrays is of interest in a variety of applications. Of special interest are photochemically active surfactant-like fullerene derivatives [6,6]-phenyl-C61-butyric acid methyl ester (PCBM). The study presented here characterizes the morphology and structure of patterns formed by a mixture of PCBM NP and an amphiphilic block-copolymer tethered at the water-air interface (a surface brush) as a function of the concentration of poly(ethylene oxide) (PEO) dissolved in the liquid subphase. Theoretical modeling of the system shows that the concentration of PEO in the subphase mediates the dimensions of the surface brush and at high PEO concentrations induces a collapse of the brush at the solution-air interface. The state of the surface brush is suggested to tune the semi-2D patterns observed in the experiments via lateral depletion interactions and, in particular, induce lateral phase separation of the PCBM-block copolymer.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)516-522
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Polymer Science, Part B: Polymer Physics
Issue number7
StatePublished - 1 Apr 2011


  • depletion
  • fullerenes
  • molecular conformation
  • nanoparticles
  • poly(ethylene oxide)
  • polymer brush
  • polymer layers
  • self-assembly
  • surface activity

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Physical and Theoretical Chemistry
  • Polymers and Plastics
  • Materials Chemistry


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