News Column

Findings from Northwestern University Broaden Understanding of Nanostructures (Electrostatic control of block copolymer morphology)

August 15, 2014

By a News Reporter-Staff News Editor at Science Letter -- Investigators publish new report on Nanostructures. According to news reporting out of Evanston, Illinois, by NewsRx editors, research stated, "Energy storage is at present one of the foremost issues society faces. However, material challenges now serve as bottlenecks in technological progress(1)."

Our news journalists obtained a quote from the research from Northwestern University, "Lithium-ion batteries are the current gold standard to meet energy storage needs; however, they are limited owing to the inherent instability of liquid electrolytes(1,2). Block copolymers can self-assemble into nanostructures that simultaneously facilitate ion transport and provide mechanical stability. The ions themselves have a profound, yet previously unpredictable, effect on how these nanostructures assemble and thus the efficiency of ion transport(3). Here we demonstrate that varying the charge of a block copolymer is a powerful mechanism to predictably tune nanostructures. In particular, we demonstrate that highly asymmetric charge cohesion effects can induce the formation of nanostructures that are inaccessible to conventional uncharged block copolymers, including percolated phases desired for ion transport."

According to the news editors, the research concluded: "This vastly expands the design space for block copolymer materials and is informative for the versatile design of battery electrolyte materials."

For more information on this research see: Electrostatic control of block copolymer morphology. Nature Materials, 2014;13(7):694-698. Nature Materials can be contacted at: Nature Publishing Group, Macmillan Building, 4 Crinan St, London N1 9XW, England. (Nature Publishing Group -; Nature Materials -

Our news journalists report that additional information may be obtained by contacting C.E. Sing, Northwestern University, Dept. of Mat Sci, Evanston, IL 60208, United States. Additional authors for this research include J.W. Zwanikken and M.O. de la Cruz (see also Nanostructures).

Keywords for this news article include: Evanston, Illinois, United States, Nanostructural, Nanostructures, Nanotechnology, Emerging Technologies, North and Central America

Our reports deliver fact-based news of research and discoveries from around the world. Copyright 2014, NewsRx LLC

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Source: Science Letter

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