Design, preparation, characterization and investigation of self-assembly properties of Janus Nanoparticles

This project aims to engineer and synthesize polymer-based Janus and Patchy nanoparticles, with the objective of controlling self-assembly properties.

The success of nanoparticles in many branches of science and technology has motivated scientists to search for creative ways to prepare a variety of materials in nanoparticulate form and to functionalize their surface so as to tailor their properties to specific applications. Nevertheless, the vast majority of recipes allow one to create particles with a spherical shape and isotropic functionalization. When thinking about using nanoparticles to create novel materials, it becomes very clear that isotropic spherical particles are not the most suitable nano-building blocks. A comparison with molecules and proteins shows that their unique ability to create complex structures is due to their anisotropicity allowing them to form a defined number of directional bonds. Therefore, this project aims at designing polymeric and composite Janus and Patchy particles with well-defined functionalization patterns. Two strategies are currently being pursued. The first one targets the preparation of shape anisotropic nanoparticles, starting with dumbbells having asymmetrically functionalized lobes. The second strategy aims at synthesizing composition anisotropic nanoparticles made of immiscible polymers, with the goal of using both blends of incompatible polymers and block copolymers. The ultimate objective is to create nanoparticles with complex bulk morphologies and translate them to their surface.

Involved people

Adolphe Merkle Institute - Chemin des Verdiers 4 - CH-1700 Fribourg - Phone +41 26 300 9254