We studied the directed assembly of soft nanoparticles through rapid micromixing of polymers in solution with a nonsolvent. Both experiments and computer simulations were performed to elucidate the underlying physics and to investigate the role of various process parameters. In particular, we discovered that no external stabilizing agents or charged end groups are required to keep the colloids separated from each other when water is used as the nonsolvent. Furthermore, the size of the nanoparticles can be reliably tuned through the mixing rate and the ratio between polymer solution and nonsolvent. Our results demonstrate that this mechanism is highly promising for the mass fabrication of uniformly sized colloidal particles, using a wide variety of polymeric feed materials.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Materials Science(all)
- Physics and Astronomy(all)
- Flash nanoprecipitation