Continuous concentric lamellar block copolymer nanofibers with long range order.
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Fibers with long-range ordered internal structures have applications in various areas such as photonic band gap fibers, optical waveguides, wearable power, sensors, and sustained drug release. Up to now, such fibers have been formed by melt extrusion or drawing from a macroscopic preformed rod and were typically limited to diameters >10 microm with internal features >1 microm (Abouraddy, A. F.; et al. Nat. Mater. 2007, 6, 336). We describe a new class of continuous fibers and fibrous membranes with long-range ordered concentric lamellar structure that have fiber diameters and feature sizes 2-3 orders of magnitude smaller than those made by conventional methods. These fibers are created through confined self-assembly of block copolymers within core-shell electrospun filaments. In contrast to the copolymer in bulk or thin films, the domains of the concentric lamellar structure are shown here to vary quantitatively with (radial) position and to exhibit a novel dislocation that accommodates variations in fiber diameter robustly, permitting for the first time the realization of long-range order in technologically meaningful, continuous fibers with approximately 300 nm diameter and 50 nm radial period.
author list (cited authors)
Ma, M., Titievsky, K., Thomas, E. L., & Rutledge, G. C.
complete list of authors
Ma, Minglin||Titievsky, Kirill||Thomas, Edwin L||Rutledge, Gregory C