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Issue 29, 2013
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Thermoresponsive behavior of amphiphilic diblock co-oligomers of ethylene glycol and styrene in aqueous solution

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Abstract

We report the thermoresponsive behavior in aqueous solution of amphiphilic diblock co-oligomers of ethylene glycol (EG) and styrene (S) obtained by reversible addition fragmentation chain transfer (RAFT) polymerization (mPEG16-b-PS2, mPEG16-b-PS4 and mPEG16-b-PS6). The block co-oligomers were obtained from the polymerization of styrene mediated by a PEG macro-RAFT agent, mPEG-PBTC. The precise control offered by RAFT polymerization over the length of the short hydrophobic chain permits tuning of the thermoresponsive behavior for all the studied methoxy poly(ethylene glycol)-block-polystyrene copolymers. mPEG16-b-PS2 was shown to self-assemble into micelles at temperatures below the lower critical solution temperature (LCST) of the block co-oligomer, whilst no such critical temperature was observed for solutions of self-assembled mPEG16-b-PS4 and mPEG16-b-PS6. mPEG16-b-PS4 self-assembles into relatively mobile spherical particles which evolve into prolate spheroids with increasing temperature, whilst mPEG16-b-PS6 forms particle clusters, which have lower mobility than the mPEG16-b-PS4 particles. This work is the first study on the aggregation behavior of such short chain lengths of mPEG-b-PS as a function of temperature, and shows how tuning the PS oligomer length permits control of the thermoresponsive behavior of mPEG-b-PS assemblies in water.

Graphical abstract: Thermoresponsive behavior of amphiphilic diblock co-oligomers of ethylene glycol and styrene in aqueous solution

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Publication details

The article was received on 23 Jan 2013, accepted on 10 Apr 2013 and first published on 26 Apr 2013


Article type: Paper
DOI: 10.1039/C3SM50245G
Citation: Soft Matter, 2013,9, 7007-7015
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    Thermoresponsive behavior of amphiphilic diblock co-oligomers of ethylene glycol and styrene in aqueous solution

    M. Siauw, P. A. FitzGerald, B. S. Hawkett and S. Perrier, Soft Matter, 2013, 9, 7007
    DOI: 10.1039/C3SM50245G

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