Self-Assembled Aggregates of Rod-Coil Block Copolymers and Their Solubilization and Encapsulation of Fullerenes

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Amphiphilic poly(phenylquinoline)-block-polystyrene rod-coil diblock copolymers were observed to self-organize into robust, micrometer-scale, spherical, vesicular, cylindrical, and lamellar aggregates from solution. These diverse aggregate morphologies were seen at each composition, but their size scale decreased with a decreasing fraction of the rigid-rod block. Compared to coil-coil block copolymer micelles, the present aggregates are larger by about two orders of magnitude and have aggregation numbers of over 108. The spherical and cylindrical aggregates have large hollow cavities. Only spherical aggregates with aggregation numbers in excess of 109 were formed in the presence of fullerenes (C60, C70) in solution, resulting in the solubilization and encapsulation of over 1010 fullerene molecules per aggregate.

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