Application of block-copolymer supramolecular assembly for the fabrication of complex TiO2 nanostructures

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A study was conducted to demonstrate the use of ampiphilic poly(N,N-dimethylacrylamide-block-lactide) (PDMA-b-PLA) block copolymer as a structure-directing template for the fabrication of titanium dioxide (TiO 2) nanomaterials. The study also focused on using chemically modified titanium alkoxide precursor, along with oligomerization of the precursor, as an effective way to prevent hydrolysis in the reaction. PDMA-b-PLA block copolymer and an oilgomeric TiO2 precursor (OT) of titanium acetylaacetonate were dissolved in propylene glycol propyl ether (PGPE), as a selective solvent for PDMA block copolymer. The study also involved the preparation of TiO 2 thin films by spin casting the solution on silicon wafer, followed by TiO2 crystallization and polymer thermolysis. The morphologies of the TiO2 thin films were also characterized with tapping-mode atomic force microscopy (AFM) and transmission electron microscopy (TEM).