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Orientation and dynamics of stiff polymeric nanoparticles

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      Abstract

      Successful assembly of suspended nanoscale rod-like particles depends on fundamental phenomena controlling rotational and translational diffusion. Despite the significant developments in fluidic fabrication of nanostructured materials, the ability to quantify the dynamics in processing systems remains challenging. Here we demonstrate an experimental method for characterization of the orientation dynamics of nanorod suspensions in assembly flows using birefringence relaxation. The methodology is illustrated using nanocelluloses (cellulose nanocrystals and nanofibrils) as model systems, where the coupling of rotational diffusion coefficients to particle size distributions as well as flow-induced orientation mechanisms are elucidated. Our observations advance the knowledge on key fundamental nanoscale mechanisms governing the dynamics of nanotubes and nanorods allowing bottom-up assembly into hierarchical superstructures.

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      Brownian motion of stiff filaments in a crowded environment.

      The thermal motion of stiff filaments in a crowded environment is highly constrained and anisotropic; it underlies the behavior of such disparate systems as polymer materials, nanocomposites, and the cell cytoskeleton. Despite decades of theoretical study, the fundamental dynamics of such systems remains a mystery. Using near-infrared video microscopy, we studied the thermal diffusion of individual single-walled carbon nanotubes (SWNTs) confined in porous agarose networks. We found that even a small bending flexibility of SWNTs strongly enhances their motion: The rotational diffusion constant is proportional to the filament-bending compliance and is independent of the network pore size. The interplay between crowding and thermal bending implies that the notion of a filament's stiffness depends on its confinement. Moreover, the mobility of SWNTs and other inclusions can be controlled by tailoring their stiffness.
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        Controlled self-assembly of quantum dots and block copolymers in a microfluidic device.

        The controlled self-assembly of polymer-stabilized quantum dots (QDs) into mesoscale aqueous spherical assemblies using microfluidics is described. In a flow-focusing configuration, self-assembly is initiated by the addition of water to a blended solution of polystyrene-coated QDs and amphiphilic polystyrene-block-poly(acrylic acid) stabilizing chains and terminated in a downstream quench step. The on-chip evolution of assemblies is monitored through fluorescence microscopy, and particle size distributions are determined off-chip by transmission electron microscopy. On-chip size control of the assemblies is demonstrated via both the average water concentration in the channel and the flow rate.
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          Rotational Disorder in Poly(p-phenylene terephthalamide) Fibers by X-ray Diffraction with a 100 nm Beam

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            Author and article information

            Journal
            24 January 2018
            1801.07976

            http://arxiv.org/licenses/nonexclusive-distrib/1.0/

            Custom metadata
            6 pages, 4 figures, supplemental information
            cond-mat.soft

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