Arrangement of maghemite nanoparticles via wet chemical self-assembly in PS-b-PNIPAM diblock copolymer films
The structure and magnetic behavior of hybrid films composed of maghemite (g-Fe2O3) nanoparticles (NPs) and an asymmetric diblock copolymer (DBC) polystyrene61-block-polyN-isopropylacrylamide 115 are investigated. The NPs are coated with PS chains, which allow for a selective incorporation inside the PS domains at different NP concentrations. Upon incorporation of low amounts of NPs into the DBC thin films, the initial parallel (to film surface) cylinder morphology changes to a well ordered, perpendicularly oriented one. The characteristic domain distance of the DBC is increased due to the swelling of the PS domains with NPs. At higher NP concentrations, the excess NPs which can no longer be embedded in the PS domains, are accumulated at the film surface, and NP aggregates form. Irrespective of NP concentration, a superparamagnetic behavior of the metal oxideDBC hybrid films is found. Such superparamagnetic properties make the established hybrid films interesting for high density magnetic storage media and thermoresponsive magnetic sensors.