Self-assembly of mesoscopically ordered chromatic polydiacetylene/silica nanocomposites
Nature abounds with intricate composite architectures composed of hard and soft materials synergistically intertwined to provide both useful functionality and mechanical integrity. Recent synthetic efforts to mimic such natural designs have focused on nanocomposites, prepared mainly by slow procedures like monomer or polymer infiltration of inorganic nanostructures sequential deposition. Here we report the self-assembly of conjugated polymer/silica nanocomposite films with hexagonal, cubic of lamellar mesoscopic order using polymerizable amphiphilic diacetylene molecules as both structure-directing agents and monomers. The self-assembly procedure is rapid and incorporates the organic monomers uniformly within a highly ordered, inorganic environment. Polymerization results in polydiacetylene/silica nanocomposites that are optically transparent and mechanically rubost. Compared to ordered diacetylene-containing films prepared as Langmuir monolayers or by Langmuir-Blodgett deposition, the nanostructured inorganic host alters the diacetylene polymerization behaviour, and the resulting nanocomposite exhibits unusual chromatic changes in response to thermal, mechanical and chemical stimuli. The inorganic framework serves to protect, stabilize, and orient the polymer, and to mediate its function. The nonocomposite architecture also provides sufficient mechanical integrity to enble integration into devices and microsystems.
Lu, Y; Yang, Y; Sellinger, A; Lu, M; Huang, J; Fan, H; Haddad, R; Lopez, G; Burns, AR; Sasaki, DY; Shelnutt, J; Brinker, CJ
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