Archive 2016

Publication in Advanced Functional Materials
The article "Toughness and fracture properties in nacre-mimetic clay/polymer nanocomposities" combines biomimetics, materials science and engineering.
Maria Morits was able to create the first bulk nanocomposite with globally aligned nanoplatelets (2D clay platelets 1nm thickness). These materials exhibit high strength (250MPa) and stiffness (25GPa), and display toughness, where fracture mechanics strictly depend on relative humidity. Interestingly, the material is tough in wet conditions due to plasticity and tough in dry state due to step wise fracture. We estimate the maximum modulus to 70GPa and strength of 500MPa provided more defined (synthetic) clays are used as compared to the natural ones.
Publication in ACS Macro Letters
In the paper "Rod-like nanoparticles with striped and helical topography" Jani-Markus Malho modified cellulose nanocrystals (CNCs) with polyelectrolyte brushes through surface-initiated atom transfer radical polymerization (SI-ATRP).
After complexation of the brushes with complementarily charged block copolymers, the surface spontaneously changed its shape to adopt a screw-like morphology or helix. well-developed helices were monohelices which is untypical in spontaneous self-assembly processes. The Structures were analyzed with cryogenic electron tomography, one of the most advanced imaging techniques in nanoscience.
Publication in ACS Macro Letters
In the paper "Controlling Multicompartment Morphologies using Solvent Conditions and Chemical Modification" Tina Löbling studied possibilities to alter the morphology of triblock terpolymers in selective solvents.
We utilized versatile thiol-ene click reactions to change the volume of one of the blocks as well as the interaction parameters. Among the morphologies we found double helices and triple helices.
New Group Member - Tai-Lam Nghiem
The group welcomes M.Sc. Tai-Lam Nghiem.
He just started his PhD on "Complex block copolymer self-assemblies" with the aim to create stimuli-responsive superstructures, precise colloidal polymers, and interpolyelectrylyte complexes. Information about him can be found here and his personal page is here.
Publication in Polymer
In the paper "Controlling the shape of Janus nanostructures through supramolecular modification of ABC terpolymer bulk morphologies" Panu Hiekkataipale analyses bulk morphologies of ABC triblock terpoylmers with supramolecular binding sites.
The poly(4-vinylpyridine) (P4VP) is able to accommodate various organic compounds through hydrogen-bonding. We utilized this feature to attach photoresponsive azobenzene moieties thereby changing the volume fraction of the P4VP phase and hence the morphology. We were able to create various Janus nanostructures from one single terpolymer including Janus cylinders, Janus sheets, and novel hexagonally-perforated Janus sheets.
Publication in Nature Communication
In the paper "Rational design of ABC triblock terpolymer solution nanostructures with controlled patch morphology" Tina Löbling synthesized 14 ABC triblock terpolymers and studied their hierarchical self-assembly in selective solvents.
We found that a large range of previously unknown nanostructure can not only be generated but also targeted with proper planning of the block composition. We thereby subdivided the four solution topologies known since the year 1995 (spheres, cylinders, sheest and vesicles) into four new sub-classes, including patchy cylinders, double helical cylinders, perforated sheets and striped and perforated vesicles.