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Self-assembly of Block Copolymers in Environmental Ionic Liquids

Y. He, Z. Li and T. Lodge
University of Minnesota, US

Keywords:
self-assembly, block copolymers, environmental ionic liquids

Abstract:
As environmentally benign “green” solvents, ionic liquids have been used in industrial process for more than a decade and their applications continue to expand. To explore their potential applications, we have extended the self-assembly research into these new mediums. For the first time, visualized nanostructures and self-assembly of block copolymers in the most commonly used ionic liquid (1-butyl-3-methyl imidazolium hexafluorophosphate) were imaged by cryogenic transmission electron microscopy. Typical micellar forms such as spheres, cylinders, and vesicles were all achieved by manipulating the copolymer composition. Detailed characterization of these structured micelles is reported and compared to their counterparts in water. Unique properties of ionic liquids will be demonstrated in this work.

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