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Issue 31, 2018
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Effect of chain architecture on the swelling and thermal response of star-shaped thermo-responsive (poly(methoxy diethylene glycol acrylate)-block-polystyrene)3 block copolymer films

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Abstract

The effect of chain architecture on the swelling and thermal response of thin films obtained from an amphiphilic three-arm star-shaped thermo-responsive block copolymer poly(methoxy diethylene glycol acrylate)-block-polystyrene ((PMDEGA-b-PS)3) is investigated by in situ neutron reflectivity (NR) measurements. The PMDEGA and PS blocks are micro-phase separated with randomly distributed PS nanodomains. The (PMDEGA-b-PS)3 films show a transition temperature (TT) at 33 °C in white light interferometry. The swelling capability of the (PMDEGA-b-PS)3 films in a D2O vapor atmosphere is better than that of films from linear PS-b-PMDEGA-b-PS triblock copolymers, which can be attributed to the hydrophilic end groups and limited size of the PS blocks in (PMDEGA-b-PS)3. However, the swelling kinetics of the as-prepared (PMDEGA-b-PS)3 films and the response of the swollen film to a temperature change above the TT are significantly slower than that in the PS-b-PMDEGA-b-PS films, which may be related to the conformation restriction by the star-shape. Unlike in the PS-b-PMDEGA-b-PS films, the amount of residual D2O in the collapsed (PMDEGA-b-PS)3 films depends on the final temperature. It decreases from (9.7 ± 0.3)% to (7.0 ± 0.3)% or (6.0 ± 0.3)% when the final temperatures are set to 35 °C, 45 °C and 50 °C, respectively. This temperature-dependent reduction of embedded D2O originates from the hindrance of chain conformation from the star-shaped chain architecture.

Graphical abstract: Effect of chain architecture on the swelling and thermal response of star-shaped thermo-responsive (poly(methoxy diethylene glycol acrylate)-block-polystyrene)3 block copolymer films

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Publication details

The article was received on 10 May 2018, accepted on 19 Jul 2018 and first published on 19 Jul 2018


Article type: Paper
DOI: 10.1039/C8SM00965A
Citation: Soft Matter, 2018,14, 6582-6594
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    Effect of chain architecture on the swelling and thermal response of star-shaped thermo-responsive (poly(methoxy diethylene glycol acrylate)-block-polystyrene)3 block copolymer films

    Q. Zhong, L. Mi, E. Metwalli, L. Bießmann, M. Philipp, A. Miasnikova, A. Laschewsky, C. M. Papadakis, R. Cubitt, M. Schwartzkopf, S. V. Roth, J. Wang and P. Müller-Buschbaum, Soft Matter, 2018, 14, 6582
    DOI: 10.1039/C8SM00965A

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