Europhys. Lett.
Volume 69, Number 2, January 2005
Page(s) 284 - 290
Section Interdisciplinary physics and related areas of science and technology
Published online 22 December 2004
Europhys. Lett., 69 (2), pp. 284-290 (2005)
DOI: 10.1209/epl/i2004-10338-7

Stabilization and controlled association of inorganic nanoparticles using block copolymers

K. Yokota1, M. Morvan1, J.-F. Berret1 and J. Oberdisse2

1  Complex Fluids Laboratory, UMR CNRS - Rhodia no. 166 Cranbury Research Center Rhodia, 259 Prospect Plains Road Cranbury NJ 08512, USA
2  Groupe de Dynamique des Phases Condensées, UMR CNRS Université de Montpellier II no. 5581 - F-34095 Montpellier, France

received 7 June 2004; accepted in final form 12 November 2004
published online 22 December 2004

We report on the structural properties of mixed aggregates made from rare-earth inorganic nanoparticles (radius 20 $\un{\AA}$) and polyelectrolyte-neutral block copolymers in aqueous solutions. Using scattering experiments and Monte Carlo simulations, we show that these mixed aggregates have a hierarchical core-shell microstructure. The core is made of densely packed nanoparticles and it is surrounded by a corona of neutral chains. This microstructure results from a process of controlled association and confers to the hybrid aggregates a remarkable colloidal stability.

82.70.-y - Disperse systems; complex fluids.
81.07.-b - Nanoscale materials and structures: fabrication and characterization.
61.10.-i - X-ray diffraction and scattering.

© EDP Sciences 2005