Harnessed Dopant Block Copolymers Assist Decorating Membrane Pores: A Dissipative Particle Dynamics Study

Published on Feb 1, 2020in Macromolecular Rapid Communications4.886
· DOI :10.1002/MARC.201900561
Zhikun Wang8
Estimated H-index: 8
(China University of Petroleum),
Shuangqing Sun3
Estimated H-index: 3
(China University of Petroleum)
+ 6 AuthorsSongqing Hu15
Estimated H-index: 15
(China University of Petroleum)
Self-assembly of asymmetric block copolymers (BCPs) around active pore edges has emerged as an important strategy to produce smart membranes with tunable pathways for solute transport. However, thus far, it is still challenging to manipulate pore shape and functionality for directional transformation under external stimuli. Here, a versatile strategy by mesoscale simulations to design stimuli-responsive pores with various edge decorations in hybrid membranes is reported. Dopant BCPs are used as decorators to stabilize pore edges and extend their function in reconfiguring pores in response to repeated membrane stretching/shrinking caused by external stimuli. The decoration morphologies are predictable since the assemblies of dopant BCPs around pore edges are closely related to their self-assemblies in solution. The coassembly between different BCPs in the hybrid membrane for the control of pore morphology is featured, and the parameter settings, including block incompatibility and molecular architecture for the construction of a specific pore, are determined. Results show that harnessed dopant BCPs in the hybrid membrane can enhance pore formation and induce directional pore shape and functionality transformation. Diversified pore decorations exhibit potential that can be further explored in selective solute transport and the design of stimuli-responsive smart nanodevices.
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