Complex Nanoscale Objects Exhibiting Selective Responsive Characteristics

Date of Award

Summer 8-15-2011

Author's School

Graduate School of Arts and Sciences

Author's Department


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Degree Type



pH-Responsive shell-crosslinked knedel-like nanoparticles (SCKs) and shellcrosslinked rod-shaped nanostructures (SCRs) presenting distinct chemical reaction platforms and core vs. shell chemistry were prepared from strategies involving the self assembly of well-defined linear diblock copolymers. Covalent shell-crosslinking reactions between chromophoric crosslinkers and the shell domain of the nanostructures were performed to give rise to unique photophysical properties in a pH-responsive manner. Physical encapsulation of guest molecules within the nanostructure framework was also performed to allow for guest loading and release profiles to be monitored.

Controlling the chemical composition and the number and polydispersity of monomer repeat units is important in the subsequent physico-chemical properties of the assembled nanostructures. Utilization of a living radical polymerization technique, nitroxide-mediated radical polymerization, has allowed for facile manipulation of such a critical parameter. In addition, two self assembly methods were adopted to afford spherical vs. rod-shaped nanostructures from a single diblock copolymer batch. It is demonstrated throughout the chapters that these two unique morphologies constitute markedly different photophysical properties as well as guest loading and release behaviors.


English (en)

Chair and Committee

Karen L. Wooley

Committee Members

Joshua A. Maurer, William L. Neumann, Shelly E. Sakiyama-Elbert, John-Stephen A. Taylor, Michael J. Welch


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