Polymer‐grafted magnetic nanoparticles at oil–air interfaces are examined to reveal the role of chain length and anisotropy on particle packing order in thin films. It is found that particles grafted with intermediate chain lengths and sparse grafting densities exhibit enhanced packing order with increasing magnetic field strength. Voronoi tessellation results present an increase in the cell area distribution of these samples, suggesting that chain conformations are affected. For the longest graft length, particles become more disordered under magnetic fields. It is proposed that fluctuations in the bridged chains rearrange particles into less ordered packing with field application and the mechanism of packing order differs for varying graft chain lengths. Grafting anisotropy is found to determine the spatial nanoparticle organization in assembled monolayers.
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.more » « less
- NSF-PAR ID:
- Publisher / Repository:
- Wiley Blackwell (John Wiley & Sons)
- Date Published:
- Journal Name:
- Macromolecular Chemistry and Physics
- Medium: X
- Sponsoring Org:
- National Science Foundation
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