Effect of Solvent Affinity on Crystallization-driven Fibril Growth Kinetics in Diblock Copolymer Solutions

Junfan Chen and Wenbing Hu

State Key Lab of Coordination Chemistry, School of Chemistry and Chemical Engineering, Nanjing University, 210023 Nanjing, China

Crystallization-driven fibril growth of one block under nano-confinement of another non-crystalline block in diblock copolymer solutions has raised the interests in two important fields. One is the self-assembly of nano-particles for hierarchical construction [1, 2]. Another is the neuro-fibrillary tangles in Alzheimer’s disease [3]. The selective affinity of solvent in two blocks may influence the kinetics of the fibril growth, on processing the nano-particle assembly or hindering the disease development. We have recently performed dynamic Monte Carlo simulations of diblock copolymers in athermal solutions, with fibril crystallization of one block induced by a crystalline template but under the confinement of another amorphous block [4]. In this report, we changed the solvent affinity for two blocks and observed the variation of the fibril growth rates with the solvent selectivity. The results showed that reducing the hydrophilicity of the amorphous blocks will effectively decrease the fibril growth rates. The mechanism of solvent selectivity on the crystallization-driven fibril growth kinetics will be discussed.

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