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Project Description

Polymer/Inorganic Hybrid Materials via Block Copolymer Templates

Block copolymer films [1] with their ability to self-assemble into highly ordered microdomain structures on length scales between 5 and 50 nm are very interesting templates for both electrodeposition and bio-inspired material synthesis.
In the case of electrodeposition we showed that poly(fluorostyrene)- block-polylactide block copolymers can be used as templates for the nanostructuring of inorganic semiconductors, e.g. Cu 2O and TiO 2 [2,3]. Both freestanding TiO 2 nanowires and gyroid structures could be successfully incorporated into liquid-electrolyte and solid-state dye-sensitized solar cells [4]. We are currently working on the synthesis and characterization of functional block copolymer templates [5] for application in bulk heterojunction solar cells.
Additionally, we explore bio-inspired routes towards polymer/mineral hybrid materials by infiltration of block copolymer templates with inorganic species from aqueous solution at room temperature. In addition to work on calcite we are interested in the synthesis of nanostructured functional oxides [6,7], e.g. cobalt oxide.

[1]  S. Ludwigs, A. Böker, A. Voronov, N. Rehse, R. Magerle, G. Krausch, Nature Mater. 2003, 2, 744.
[2]  E.J.W. Crossland, S. Ludwigs, M. Hillmyer, U. Steiner, Soft Matter 2007, 3, 94.
[3]  E.J.W. Crossland, M. Kamperman, M. Nedelcu, C. Ducati, U. Wiesner, D.M. Smilgies, G.E.S. Toombes, M. Hillmyer, S. Ludwigs, U. Steiner, H. Snaith, Nano Lett. 2009, 9, 2807.
[4]  E.J.W. Crossland, M. Nedelcu, C. Ducati, S. Ludwigs, M. Hillmyer, U. Steiner, H. Snaith, Nano Lett. 2009, 9, 2813.
[5]  E.J.W. Crossland, S. Scroggins, S. Moratti, O. Yurchenko, U. Steiner, M. Hillmyer, S. Ludwigs, ACS Nano 2010, 4, 962.
[6]  A. Finnemore, M.R.J. Scherer, R. Langford, S. Mahajan, S. Ludwigs, F.C. Meldrum, U. Steiner, Adv. Mater. 2009, 21, 3928.
[7]  S. Ludwigs, U. Steiner, R. Lam, A. Kulak, F.C. Meldrum, Adv. Mater. 18, 2006, 2270.