A Rose in the Nano-world
The nano-sized rose was generated by self assembly from microphase-separated diblock copolymers, visualized here using scanning electron microscopy. The polystyrene-polyisoprene block copolymers form nanosized sheets that in some instances wrap together to form rose-like objects. The structure is preserved by selective crosslinking of the polyisoprene block.
The image of a nano-sized rose expresses the beauty of the microscopic landscape formed in nature and by design. Scanning electro microscope was used to provide the inherent contrast from the topography of the landscape without the need for selective staining technique. The central object is not visible to the naked eye but we immediately identify it as a flower. Since this rose practically exists only in the nano-world, we gave the image a blanket color of violet to convey a sense of gravity and mystery. The rose, consisted of petals from block copolymer self-assembled layers, gives an illusion of natural feature without any artificial effects. This entry shows us that nano-world is a world which has its own beauty.
This cold vulcanization method is a crosslinking process used to modify the mechanical properties of rubber. We have applied vulcanization to polystyrene-polyisoprene block copolymer that self-assembles into a lamellar morphology. The vulcanization was done using sulfur monochoride at room temperature to crosslink the polyisoprene block. The microphase separated structure of block copolymers are typically difficult to visualize due to lack of contrast between the two blocks. The crosslinking allowed us to preserve the structure as well as to visualize it topographically using scanning electron microscope.
Submitted by Sungwon Ma, Jin Young Lim, and Yonathan Thio (Georgia Institute of Technology & Savannah College of Art and Design) (firstname.lastname@example.org)