Surface-Compartmentalized Micelles by Stereocomplex-Driven Self-Assembly
Roman Schaller, Christian Hils, Matthias Karg, Holger Schmalz
Macromol. Rapid Commun. 2022, https://doi.org/10.1002/marc.202200682
The unique corona structure of surface-compartmentalized micelles (Janus micelles, patchy micelles) opens highly relevant applications, e.g. as efficient particulate surfactants for emulsion stabilization or compatibilization of polymer blends. Here, we introduce stereocomplex-driven self-assembly (SCDSA) as a facile route to micelles with a semicrystalline stereocomplex (SC) core and a patch-like microphase separated corona, employing diblock copolymers with enantiomeric poly(L-lactide)/poly(D-lactide) blocks and highly incompatible corona-forming blocks (polystyrene, poly(t-butyl methacrylate)). The spherical patchy SC micelles feature a narrow size distribution and show a compartmentalized, shamrock-like corona structure. Compared to SC micelles with a homogeneous PS corona the patchy micelles have a significantly higher interfacial activity attributable to the synergistic combination of an amphiphilic corona with the Pickering effect of nanoparticles. The patchy micelles are successfully employed in the stabilization of emulsions, underlining their application potential.