Block copolymers constitute a fascinating set of self-assembled materials exhibiting compositional heterogeneities on the nanometer length scale. While traditionally employed as thermoplastic elastomers, asphalt modifiers, and adhesives, the potential of self-assembled block copolymers for nanotechnological applications has been realized in the past decade and many examples have now appeared in the literature. As indicated by the title, this review covers a specific aspect of block copolymers as tools for preparing nanoscopic materials. Nanoporous materials can be generated by selective removal of one component from a self-assembled block copolymer. These materials exhibit the pore size and pore topology of their parent structures and can be used as nanolithographic masks, separation membranes and nanomaterial templates. The work described within covers the published work in the field since the first report of nanoporous materials from ordered block copolymers nearly two decades ago. After an introductory section and historical account, sections on nanolithography, membranes, monoliths, and templates follow. The review ends with a summary and outlook on this exciting research arena in block copolymer science and technology.
- Block copolymers