Air–Liquid Interfacial Self-Assembly of Conjugated Block Copolymers into Ordered Nanowire Arrays


Cativo, H.M.; Kim, D.K.; Riggleman, R.A.; Yager, K.G.; Nonnenmann, S.S.; Chao, H.; Bonnell, D.A.; Black, C.T.; Kagan, C.R.; Park, S.-J. "Air–Liquid Interfacial Self-Assembly of Conjugated Block Copolymers into Ordered Nanowire Arrays" ACS Nano 2014, 8 12755–12762.
doi: 10.1021/nn505871b


We show how a semiconducting polymer can be organized into well-ordered arrays of nanowires at an air-liquid interface.


The ability to control the molecular packing and nanoscale morphology of conjugated polymers is important for many of their applications. Here, we report the fabrication of well-ordered nanoarrays of conjugated polymers, based on the self-assembly of conjugated block copolymers at the air–liquid interface. We demonstrate that the self-assembly of poly(3-hexylthiophene)-block-poly(ethylene glycol) (P3HT-b-PEG) at the air–water interface leads to large-area free-standing films of well-aligned P3HT nanowires. Block copolymers with high P3HT contents (82–91%) formed well-ordered nanoarrays at the interface. The fluidic nature of the interface, block copolymer architecture, and rigid nature of P3HT were necessary for the formation of well-ordered nanostructures. The free-standing films formed at the interface can be readily transferred to arbitrary solid substrates. The P3HT-b-PEG films are integrated in field-effect transistors and show orders of magnitude higher charge carrier mobility than spin-cast films, demonstrating that the air–liquid interfacial self-assembly is an effective thin film fabrication tool for conjugated block copolymers.