Scaling Laws for Polymer Chains Grafted onto Nanoparticles
Guang Yang, Wentao Wang, Banghao Chen, and Hedi Mattoussi
An experimental approach is presented for identifying the scaling laws for polymer chains grafted onto gold nanoparticles. Poly(ethylene oxide) of various molecular weights are grafted onto gold nanoparticles via thiol end‐functional groups. The polymer‐grafted nanoparticles are self‐assembled into monolayers from solvents of different quality. Over a significant range of graft densities, nanoparticle monolayers deposited from good (athermal) solvent exhibit particle spacing that scales according to theoretical predictions for chains in dilute solution. This unexpected result for ordered nanoparticle monolayers is discussed in the context of the deposition process. In monolayers deposited from theta solvent, molecular weight scaling of particle spacing breaks down, possibly due to chain length dependence of solvent quality. In poor solvent, the structure of nanoparticle assemblies is not sufficiently ordered to obtain reliable measurements, possibly due to loss of nanoparticle dispersion. This approach opens up the possibility for accurate measurement of the effect of solvent on grafted chain scaling in nanoparticle assemblies.
Macromolecular Chemistry and Physics