Two-Step Solvent On-Film Annealing (2-SOFA) Method: Fabrication of Anisotropic Polymer Particles and Implications for Colloidal Self-Assembly

Hsiao Fan Tseng, Yu Jing Chiu, Bo Hao Wu, Jia Wei Li, Jiun Tai Chen*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations

Abstract

In recent years, anisotropic polymer particles have gained increased interest owing to their special properties and broader applications, such as drug delivery, optical traps, and e-paper display. Most strategies to produce anisotropic polymer particles, however, require sophisticated instruments or additional surfactants. Here, we develop a simple and versatile method, the two-step solvent on-film annealing (2-SOFA) technique, to make anisotropic polymer particles with different shapes. Polystyrene (PS) microspheres spin-coated on poly(methyl methacrylate) (PMMA) films are chosen as model materials. By sequentially annealing the PS/PMMA composites in different solvent vapors, anisotropic polymer particles with distinctive and diverse shapes can be produced, such as half-eaten-peach-shaped, snowman-shaped, and bowler-hat-shaped morphologies. An exquisite selective removal strategy is applied to check the morphologies of the PS/PMMA composite films and to comprehend the transformation mechanism at different annealing steps and times. For particles merged from multiple microspheres, quantitative studies are also performed to figure out the relationships between the sizes of the merged particles and the numbers of the original microspheres. These results have implications for colloidal self-assembly.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)4557-4565
Number of pages9
JournalACS Applied Nano Materials
Volume1
Issue number9
DOIs
StatePublished - 28 Sep 2018

Keywords

  • anisotropic
  • polymer films
  • selective removal
  • solvent vapor annealing
  • surface tension

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