10/14 Seminar Speech

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Speaker: Professor Roy Shenhar

Topic: Block Copolymer-Based Nanocomposite Films: Hierarchical Structures by Chemical Design

SpeakerProfessor Roy Shenhar


Institute of Chemistry and the Center for Nanoscience and Nanotechnology, Hebrew University of Jerusalem, ISRAEL

TopicBlock Copolymer-Based Nanocomposite Films: Hierarchical Structures by Chemical Design

Date10:20 , 2019.10.14

LocationRoom 203, College of Engineering


Roy Shenhar received his B.Sc. in Chemistry and Computer Science in 1995 and his Ph.D. in Chemistry in 2002, both from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. After 3 years as a Fulbright Postdoctoral Fellow at the University of Massachusetts – Amherst, he returned to Israel in 2005 and spent a year as a Zeff Postdoctoral Research Associate at the Faculty of Electrical Engineering at the Technion. Since 2006 he heads the laboratory for Polymer-Based Nanomaterials Assembly at the Hebrew University, which focuses on developing self-assembly strategies that combine top-down fabrication and bottom-up assembly approaches for photonic and biomedical applications.

Prof. Shenhar is the author and co-author of 55 peer-reviewed publications and 6 patents, serves on the board of the Israeli Polymers and Plastic Society since 2014, and was a member of the Editorial Advisory Board of the journal Polymer (Elsevier) between 2013-2018. Among other functions, Prof. Shenhar serves as the academic head of computerized teaching at the Hebrew University.


Organizing metal and semiconductor nanoparticles into ordered arrays with nanoscale structure represents a major challenge in nanotechnology, and bears the potential to advance applications such as sensing and photovoltaics beyond their current performance limits.

A highly modular approach for organizing nanoparticles into ordered structures involves the utilization of block copolymers. Block copolymers consist of different sequences of chemically distinct repeat units, and spontaneously form periodic nanoscale structures by microphase separation. Tailoring the chemistry of the nanoparticle’s protecting monolayer to be compatible with one block of the polymer enables harnessing the inherent structure of the block copolymer to order the nanoparticles. Nanocomposite films prepared by blending such nanoparticles with block copolymers feature periodic structures, in which nanoparticles reside in alternating domains.

The presentation will describe design principles and discuss the main factors that govern nanoparticle-block copolymer assembly in thin nanocomposite films. Questions that will be addressed are:

How can we control the internal nanoparticle structure inside a domain?

How the nanoparticle shape influences the overall morphology?

How can we use block copolymer architecture to further enhance nanoparticle ordering?