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Issue 14, 2017
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Free-standing thermo-responsive nanoporous membranes from high molecular weight PS-PNIPAM block copolymers synthesized via RAFT polymerization

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Abstract

The incorporation of stimuli-responsive pores in nanoporous membranes is a promising approach to facilitate the cleaning process of the membranes. Here we present fully reversible thermo-responsive nanoporous membranes fabricated by self-assembly and non-solvent induced phase separation (SNIPS) of polystyrene-poly(N-isopropylacrylamide) (PS-PNIPAM) block copolymers. A variety of PS-PNIPAM block copolymers were synthesized by reversible addition–fragmentation chain transfer (RAFT) polymerization and the reaction conditions were optimized. The target copolymers featured: (1) a thermo-responsive PNIPAM block, (2) a majority PS fraction, and (3) a well-defined high molecular weight, which are requirements for successful fabrication of free-standing responsive membranes using SNIPS. The resulting membranes exhibited a worm-like cylindrical morphology with interconnected nanopores. The thermo-responsive character of the membranes was studied by measuring the permeability of the membranes as a function of temperature. The permeability was found to increase by almost 400% upon going from room temperature to 50 °C and this thermo-responsive character was fully reversible.

Graphical abstract: Free-standing thermo-responsive nanoporous membranes from high molecular weight PS-PNIPAM block copolymers synthesized via RAFT polymerization

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Publication details

The article was received on 05 Jan 2017, accepted on 16 Mar 2017 and first published on 17 Mar 2017


Article type: Paper
DOI: 10.1039/C7PY00023E
Citation: Polym. Chem., 2017,8, 2235-2243
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    Free-standing thermo-responsive nanoporous membranes from high molecular weight PS-PNIPAM block copolymers synthesized via RAFT polymerization

    M. Cetintas, J. de Grooth, A. H. Hofman, H. M. van der Kooij, K. Loos, W. M. de Vos and M. Kamperman, Polym. Chem., 2017, 8, 2235
    DOI: 10.1039/C7PY00023E

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