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Three-Dimensional Self-Assembly of Brush Block Copolymers to Photonic Crystals


Morris, Melody Ann (2013) Three-Dimensional Self-Assembly of Brush Block Copolymers to Photonic Crystals. Senior thesis (Major), California Institute of Technology. doi:10.7907/D77G-4K14.


The development of Ring Opening Metathesis Polymerization has allowed the world of block copolymers to expand into brush block copolymers. Brush block copolymers consist of a polymer backbone with polymeric side chains, forcing the backbone to hold a stretched conformation and giving it a worm-like shape. These brush block copolymers have a number of advantages over tradition block copolymers, including faster self-assembly behavior, larger domain sizes, and much less entanglement. This makes them an ideal candidate in the development of a bottom-up approach to forming photonic crystals. Photonic crystals are periodic nanostructures that transmit and reflect only certain wavelengths of light, forming a band gap. These are used in a number of coatings and other optical uses. One and two dimensional photonic crystals are commercially available, though are often expensive and difficult to manufacture. Previous work has focused on the creation of one dimensional photonic crystals from brush block copolymers. In this thesis, I will focus on the synthesis and characterization of asymmetric brush block copolymers for self-assembly into two and three dimensional photonic crystals. Three series of brush block copolymers were made and characterized by Gel Permeation Chromatography and Nuclear Magnetic Resonance spectroscopy. They were then made into films through compressive thermal annealing and characterized by UV-Vis Spectroscopy and Scanning Electron Microscopy. Evidence of non-lamellar structures were seen, indicating the first reported creation of two or three dimensional photonic crystals from brush block copolymers.

Item Type:Thesis (Senior thesis (Major))
Subject Keywords:polymers, brush polymers, brush block copolymers, block copolymers, photonic crystals, three-dimensional, melody morris
Degree Grantor:California Institute of Technology
Division:Chemistry and Chemical Engineering
Major Option:Chemical Engineering
Awards:San Pietro Travel Prize, 2013.
Thesis Availability:Public (worldwide access)
Research Advisor(s):
  • Grubbs, Robert H.
Thesis Committee:
  • None, None
Defense Date:7 June 2013
Funding AgencyGrant Number
Summer Undergraduate Research FellowshipUNSPECIFIED
Record Number:CaltechTHESIS:06182013-115805695
Persistent URL:
Default Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:7903
Deposited By: Melody Morris
Deposited On:19 Jun 2013 17:29
Last Modified:04 Oct 2019 00:02

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