Self-assembly of colloidal quantum dots on the scaffold of triblock copolymer micelles

Mingfeng Wang, Meng Zhang, James Li, Sandeep Kumar, Gilbert C. Walker, Gregory D. Scholes, Mitchell A. Winnik

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

24 Scopus citations


This paper describes the co-self-assembly of a polystyrene-poly(4- vinylpyridine)-poly(ethylene oxide) triblock copolymer with CdSe nanocrystals (quantum dots, QDs) and with a styrene compatible phenylenevinylene conjugated polymer (MEH-PPV) in mixtures of chloroform and 2-propanol. The polymer itself (PS577-P4VP302-PEO852, where the subscripts refer to the number average degree of polymerization) forms worm-like micelles when 2-propanol is added to a solution of the polymer in CHCl3. In the presence of increasing amounts of QDs, the structures become shorter and form only spherical hybrid micelles (with QDs bound to the surface) at 4:1 QD/polymer w/w, accompanied by free QDs. These structures retain their colloidal stability in 2-PrOH, suggesting that even the free QDs bear a surface shell of block copolymer. The presence of MEH-PPV has no affect on this self assembly. One of the most remarkable observations occurred when the samples in 2-PrOH were centrifuged to remove the free QDs accompanying the hybrid micelles. The micelles sedimented, but upon redispersion in 2-PrOH, rearranged to form colloidally stable long branched cylindrical structures including cylindrical networks.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)3160-3169
Number of pages10
JournalACS Applied Materials and Interfaces
Issue number11
StatePublished - Nov 24 2010
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Materials Science


  • block copolymers
  • colloidal nanocomposites
  • composites
  • micelles
  • quantum dots
  • self-assembly


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