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Optical Nanoimaging for Block Copolymer Self-Assembly
- Yan, Jie, Zhao, Ling-Xi, Li, Chong, Hu, Zhe, Zhang, Guo-Feng, Chen, Ze-Qiang, Chen, Tao, Huang, Zhen-Li, Zhu, Jintao, Zhu, Ming-Qiang
- Journal of the American Chemical Society 2015 v.137 no.7 pp. 2436-2439
- composite polymers, ethylene oxide, fluorescence, fluorescent dyes, hydrophobicity, irradiation, micelles, polystyrenes, staining
- One approach toward optical nanoimaging involves sequential molecular localization of photoswitchable fluorophores to achieve high resolution beyond optical limit of diffraction. Block copolymer micelles assembled from polystryrene-block-poly(ethylene oxide) block copolymers (PSt-b-PEO) are visualized in optical nanoimaging by staining the polystyrene blocks with spiropyrans (SPs). SPs localized in hydrophobic phase of block copolymer micelles exhibit reversible fluorescence on–off switching at alternating irradiation of UV and visible light. Phase-selective distribution of SPs in block copolymer micelles enables optical nanoimaging of microphase structures of block copolymer self-assembly at 50-nm resolution. To date, this is the sturdiest realization of optical nanoimaging with subdiffraction resolution for solution self-assembly of block copolymers.