Xiaosa Zhang received his BS degree in chemistry from Jilin University in China and his MS degree in chemistry from Beijing University of Chemical Technology. Now, he is pursuing his PhD degree under the supervision of Professor Shengxiang Ji at the Changchun Institute of Applied Chemistry of the Chinese Academy of Sciences. He is working on the synthesis and directed assembly of polystyrene-b-Polyester block copolymers with high χ values. He joined the Nealey Group in January 2014 as a visiting student.
Synthesis and self-assembly characteristics of polystyrene-b-polyester block copolymer capable of forming domains as small as 10 nm are very useful for manufacturing a variety of semiconductor devices and next-generation magnetic storage media. Such small domains are possible because this new material has a large Flory−Huggins segment−segment interaction parameter (χ Values), which is nearly six times the χ of poly(styrene-b-methyl methacrylate) (PS-b-PMMA), the most commonly studied polymer for these applications.
Xiaosa synthesized the desired block copolymer using atom transfer radical polymerization (ATRP) and ring-opening polymerization. He is now working on the directed assembly of the synthesized block copolymer on chemically patterned substrates to obtain well-ordered sub-10 nm structures .