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Creating a synthetic platform for the encapsulation of nanocrystals with covalently bound polymer shells

: Koll, R.; Fruhner, L.S.; Heller, H.; Allgaier, J.; Pyckhout-Hintzen, W.; Kruteva, M.; Feoktystov, A.; Biehl, R.; Förster, S.; Weller, H.

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Nanoscale 11 (2019), Nr.9, S.3847-3854
ISSN: 2040-3364
ISSN: 2040-3372
Zeitschriftenaufsatz, Elektronische Publikation
Fraunhofer IAP ()

We present a platform for the encapsulation of superparamagnetic iron oxide nanocrystals (SPIONs) with a highly stable diblock copolymer shell allowing a homogeneous dispersion of the nanocrystals into a polymer matrix in the resulting nanocomposites. High polymer shell stability was achieved by crosslinking the inner polydiene shell for example in a persulfate based redox process. The advantage of this crosslinking reaction is the avoidance of heat and UV light for the initiation, making it suitable for heat or UV sensitive systems. In addition, we were able to minimize the ligand excess needed for the encapsulation and showcased a variation of molecular weight and composition as well as different ligands which lead to stable micelles. The encapsulated nanocrystals as well as the nanocomposite materials were characterized by transmission electron microscopy (TEM) and small angle scattering (SAXS and SANS).