Real-time label-free imaging of living crystallization-driven self-assembly
Real-time label-free imaging of living crystallization-driven self-assembly. The living crystallization-driven self-assembly (CDSA) of semicrystalline block copoly- mers is a powerful method for the bottom-up construction of uniform polymer mi- crostructures with complex hierarchies. Improving our ability to engineer such complex particles demands a better understanding of precisely how to control the self-assembly process. Here, we apply interferometric scattering microscopy (iSCAT) to deliver real- time observation of individual poly(ε-caprolactone)-based platelet growth. This label-free method enables us to map the role of key reaction parameters on platelet growth rate, size, and morphology. Furthermore, iSCAT provides a contrast mechanism for studying multi-layer platelets, offering new insights into the distribution of polymer compositions within a single platelet.