Geometrically structured polymer nanocolloids, including Janus nanocolloids, have been widely investigated for their unique properties, which are derived from their anisotropy. Controlled surface decoration with inorganic nanoparticles could induce another level of functionality into structured nanocolloids that could enable applications in fields ranging from rewriteable electronics to biphasic catalysis. Here, we demonstrate flash nanoprecipitation (FNP) as a one-step, scalable process platform for manufacturing hybrid polymer-inorganic nanocolloids in which one phase is selectively decorated with a metal nanocatalyst by tuning the molecular interactions between the feed ingredients during the process. For instance, by modifying the polymer end-group functionality, we document the ability to tune the location of the metal nanocatalyst, including placement at the nanocolloid circumference. Moreover, the addition of molecular additives is shown to transform the Janus nanocolloid structure from spherical to dumbbell or snowman while maintaining the ability to control the nanocatalyst location. In considering the flexibility and continuous nature of the FNP process, it offers an industrial-scale platform for the manufacturing of nanomaterials that are anticipated to impact many technologies.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Condensed Matter Physics
- General Materials Science
- Surfaces and Interfaces