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Issue 18, 2017
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Triple-stimuli-responsive ferrocene-containing homopolymers by RAFT polymerization

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Abstract

Well-defined ferrocene-containing homopolymers were synthesized by RAFT homopolymerization of an acrylate monomer bearing a ferrocene (Fc) unit and an N,N-diethylamino ethyl (DEAE) group, i.e. 2-(3-(N-(2-(diethylamino)ethyl)-acrylamido)propanoyloxy)ethyl ferrocenecarboxylate (Fc-DEAE-AM). As an ideal redox-responsive group, hydrophobic Fc can be easily oxidized into hydrophilic Fc+ by certain oxidants, providing tremendous opportunities to produce various Fc-containing redox-responsive materials. On the other hand, the pH/CO2-responsive reversible nature of the DEAE group makes it possible to construct a smart system to adapt to the complex environment in practical application. The stimuli-responsive aggregation behavior of the well-defined poly(Fc-DEAE-AM) homopolymer is examined by the combination of a fluorescent probe, UV/vis transmittance, zeta potential, transmission electron microscopy (TEM), and dynamic light scattering (DLS). In fact, due to the redox and pH/CO2-responsive character provided by the Fc and DEAE groups, the poly(Fc-DEAE-AM) homopolymer exhibits distinct phase transition in aqueous solution. In addition, such a homopolymer could form typical spherical particles in acid aqueous solution, and the redox agent could lead to changes in the size and morphology of the aggregates. Thus, we provide a new and efficient way to prepare triple-stimuli-responsive Fc-containing homopolymers, which might be used as interesting building block for the fabrication of multiple stimuli-responsive functional materials.

Graphical abstract: Triple-stimuli-responsive ferrocene-containing homopolymers by RAFT polymerization

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Publication details

The article was received on 17 Jan 2017, accepted on 05 Apr 2017 and first published on 06 Apr 2017


Article type: Paper
DOI: 10.1039/C7PY00091J
Citation: Polym. Chem., 2017,8, 2773-2784
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    Triple-stimuli-responsive ferrocene-containing homopolymers by RAFT polymerization

    X. Jiang, R. Li, C. Feng, G. Lu and X. Huang, Polym. Chem., 2017, 8, 2773
    DOI: 10.1039/C7PY00091J

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