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Hollow polymeric nanoreactors

We have recently utilised metal based supramolecular chemistries for the synthesis of block copolymers, micelles, and nanoparticles. Using these nanoparticles as templates we have been able to demonstrate for the first time their mild excavation to afford hollow hydrophilic metal functionalised nanocages. These novel nanocages have been tuned to respond to external stimuli (such as pH) and their detailed properties and potential applications are under investigation. We have also explored the development of systems this system with triblock copolymer templates for excavation to form phase separated hollow nanostructures. We are also exploring metal-free supramolecular systems (such as Diels Alder chemistries) for applications in biomedicine and materials science as well as hollow nanostructures which can be prepared using degradable polymers. The catalytic activity and solution properties of the these nanostructures (diffusion kinetics, responsive properties) are of interest.



We have particular interest in the preparation of metal containing block copolymers, given the following interest tuneable properties of such complex materials.



Relevant publications

Hollow Block Copolymer Nanoparticles through a Spontaneous One-Step Structural Reorganization, N. Petzetakis, M. Robin, J.P. Patterson, E. Kelley, P. Cotanda, P.H.H. Bomans, N. Sommerdijk, A.P. Dove, T.H. Epps, III and R.K. O'Reilly, ACS Nano, 2013, 7, 1120 - 1128


Synthesis of hollow responsive functional nanocages using a non covalently connected micelle strategy, A.D. Ievins, A.O. Moughton, R.K. O'Reilly, Macromolecules, 2008, 41, 3571-3578. DOI: 10.1021/ma800047r


Non-covalently connected micelles, nanoparticles and metal functionalized nanocages using supramolecular self-assembly, A.O. Moughton, R.K. O’Reilly, J. Am. Chem. Soc., 2008, 130, 8714-8725. DOI: 10.1021/ja800230k


Hollow nanostructures from self assembled supramolecular metallo-triblock copolymers, A.O. Moughton, K. Stubenrauch, R. K. O’Reilly, Soft Matter, 2009, 5, 2361-2370. DOI: 10.1039/B818955B