Patchy Micelles with a Crystalline Core: Self-Assembly Concepts, Properties, and Applications
Christian Hils, Ian Manners, Judith Schöbel,* and Holger Schmalz*
Polymers 2021, 13(9), 1481; https://doi.org/10.3390/polym13091481
Crystallization-driven self-assembly (CDSA) of block copolymers bearing one crystallizable block has emerged to a powerful and highly relevant method for the production of one- and two-dimensional micellar assemblies with controlled length, shape and corona chemistries. This gives access to a multitude of potential applications like hierarchical self-assembly to complex superstructures, catalysis, sensing, nanomedicine, nanoelectronics, and surface functionalization. Related to these applications, patchy crystalline-core micelles with their unique nanometre-sized alternating corona segmentation are highly interesting, as this feature provides striking advantages concerning interfacial activity, functionalization and confinement effects. Hence, this review aims on providing an overview of the current state of the art with respect to self-assembly concepts, properties and applications of crystalline-core patchy micelles formed by CDSA. We have also included a more general discussion on the CDSA process and highlight block-type comicelles as a special type of patchy micelles due to similarities of the corona structure if the size of the blocks is well below 100 nm.