Flower-like particles (FLPs) with hierarchical surface architectures have recently attracted considerable attention due to their potentially wide application range. Hitherto, nearly all FLPs were fabricated using inorganic compounds, while versatile organic polymers have not received sufficient attention yet. Herein, we show the construction of novel organic, polymeric FLPs with diameters of 2.5–5 μm using cellulose stearoyl esters (CSEs) by means of the crystallization of side chains. CSEs with degrees of substitution of approximately 3 were transformed into FLPs during the gradual precipitation of polymer chains from the mixture of their solutions in dichloromethane (DCM) and a nonsolvent, which is driven by the evaporation of DCM. Ordered petal-like nanostructures were formed on the particle surface through the crystallization of side chains. Finally, partially crystalline FLPs containing lamellar structures were obtained. Moreover, the formation process was strongly affected by the molecular weight of CSE, concentrations of CSE solutions and the volume ratio between DCM and nonsolvents.
KEYWORDS: Nanoparticles, Polymers