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Bimodality and re-entrant behaviour in the hierarchical self-assembly of polymeric nanoparticles

Sarika, CK and Tomar, Gaurav and Basu, JK and Thiele, Uwe (2015) Bimodality and re-entrant behaviour in the hierarchical self-assembly of polymeric nanoparticles. In: SOFT MATTER, 11 (46). pp. 8975-8980.

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Official URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1039/c5sm02108a


We show that a film of a suspension of polymer grafted nanoparticles on a liquid substrate can be employed to create two-dimensional nanostructures with a remarkable variation in the pattern length scales. The presented experiments also reveal the emergence of concentration-dependent bimodal patterns as well as re-entrant behaviour that involves length scales due to dewetting and compositional instabilities. The experimental observations are explained through a gradient dynamics model consisting of coupled evolution equations for the height of the suspension film and the concentration of polymer. Using a Flory-Huggins free energy functional for the polymer solution, we show in a linear stability analysis that the thin film undergoes dewetting and/or compositional instabilities depending on the concentration of the polymer in the solution. We argue that the formation via `hierarchical self-assembly' of various functional nanostructures observed in different systems can be explained as resulting from such an interplay of instabilities.

Item Type: Journal Article
Additional Information: Copy right for this article belongs to the ROYAL SOC CHEMISTRY, THOMAS GRAHAM HOUSE, SCIENCE PARK, MILTON RD, CAMBRIDGE CB4 0WF, CAMBS, ENGLAND
Department/Centre: Division of Mechanical Sciences > Mechanical Engineering
Division of Physical & Mathematical Sciences > Physics
Depositing User: Id for Latest eprints
Date Deposited: 15 Dec 2015 07:48
Last Modified: 15 Dec 2015 07:48
URI: http://eprints.iisc.ac.in/id/eprint/52922

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