Polymerization of and within self-organized media

Hans Peter Hentze, Eric W. Kaler

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

150 Scopus citations


Self-organized surfactant solutions, such as microemulsions, vesicular solutions or dispersions, or lyotropic mesophases can serve as templates for the structure directed synthesis of organic polymers. Recent developments of templating within these equilibrium nanostructured fluids are reviewed. Depending on the template structure and the reaction conditions, the outcomes may be polyampholytes, amphiphiles, nanoparticles, hollow spheres, or mesoporous polymers. For each structure and morphology, the final product materials reflect a delicate balance between phase behavior and the reaction and mass transfer parameters that set structure. Experimental and theoretical aspects of reaction kinetics and thermodynamics such as monomer partitioning, swelling behavior and polymerization-induced phase separation are discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)164-178
Number of pages15
JournalCurrent Opinion in Colloid and Interface Science
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jun 2003

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
The authors want to thank Srinivasa Raghavan, Carlos Co, and Craig McKelvey for their assistance and many interesting discussions. HPH is grateful for receiving an Otto-Hahn fellowship from the Max-Planck Society. This work was supported by the National Science Foundation, CTS 9814399.


  • Block copolymers
  • Dissipative structures
  • Hydrogels
  • Lipids
  • Liquid crystals
  • Lyotropic mesophases
  • Mesoporous materials
  • Microemulsions
  • Nanocapsules
  • Nanoparticles
  • Phase separation
  • Polymerizable surfactants
  • Polymerization
  • Surfactant templating
  • Vesicles


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