2 research outputs found

    Shape Induced Symmetry in Self-Assembled Mesocrystals of Iron Oxide Nanocubes

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    Grazing incidence small-angle scattering and electron microscopy have been used to show for the first time that nonspherical nanoparticles can assemble into highly ordered body-centered tetragonal mesocrystals. Energy models accounting for the directionality and magnitude of the van der Waals and dipolar interactions as a function of the degree of truncation of the nanocubes illustrated the importance of the directional dipolar forces for the formation of the initial nanocube clusters and the dominance of the van der Waals multibody interactions in the dense packed arrays

    Stimuli-Responsive Amphiphilic Polyelectrolyte Heptablock Copolymer Physical Hydrogels: An Unusual pH-Response

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    An amphiphilic cationic polyelectrolyte based on poly­[2-(dimethylamino)­ethyl methacrylate] (polyDMA) and poly­(<i>n</i>-butyl methacrylate) (polyBuMA) with a BuMA–DMA–BuMA–DMA–BuMA–DMA–BuMA heptablock copolymer architecture was studied in aqueous media. This copolymer was found to form a physical hydrogel via the intermolecular hydrophobic association (physical cross-linking) of the BuMA blocks. The rheological properties of the heptablock hydrogels were investigated as a function of copolymer concentration, and pH. The results showed a peculiar pH-dependence of the rheological properties, remarkably different from those observed with associative telechelic polyelectrolytes. Aqueous solutions of this copolymer were free-flowing sols at low pH (below 2) and high pH (above 8), whereas they turned into gels at intermediate pH values. The rheological properties studied as a function of pH showed two additional stiff–soft–stiff gel transitions at pH 4.5 and 6.5. Small-angle neutron scattering revealed the formation of a 3D transient network of bridged flower-like micelles whose structural characteristics, i.e., micellar radius, hard-sphere radius and hard-sphere volume fraction, were smoothly evolving with the pD
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