Dynamic and programmable morphology and size evolution via a living hierarchical self-assembly strategy
Xing Wang, Peiyuan Gao, Yanyu Yang, Hongxia Guo, Decheng Wu*
Nat. Commun. 2018, 9, 2772.
Recent advances in the preparation of shape-shifting and size-growing nano-structures are hot topics in development of nanoscience, because many intelligent functions are always relied on their shape and dimension. Here we report a tunable manipulation of sequential self-assembled transformation in situ via a hierarchical assembly strategy based on a living thiol–disulﬁde exchange reaction. By tailoring the external stimuli, the reactive points can be generated at the ends of initially unimolecular micelles, which subsequently drive the pre-assemblies to periodically proceed into the hierarchically micellar connection, axial growth, bending, and cyclization processes from nanoscopic assemblies to macroscopic particles. Of particular interest would be systems that acquired the shape control and size adjustment of self-assemblies after termination or reactivation of disulﬁde reshufﬂing reaction by regulating external stimuli whenever needed. Such a hierarchical strategy for self-assembled evolution is universally applicable not only for other disulﬁde-linked dendritic polymers but also for exploitation of biological applications.