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Grafting CO2-responsive polymers from cellulose nanocrystals via nitroxide-mediated polymerisation


Cellulose nanocrystals (CNC) are a renewable resource possessing extraordinary physical, mechanical, and optical properties. CNC are readily dispersible only in hydrophilic environments, such as aqueous media and very polar solvents. Different approaches have been attempted to alter the surface properties and thereby improve CNC dispersibility in organic solvents and polymers (hydrophobic media), including functionalisation with small molecules and grafting of polymer chains to the CNC surface. However, when hydrophobic polymer chains are grafted on the CNC surface, the CNC are irreversibly altered toward increased hydrophobicity, which can be undesirable for some applications. Grafting stimuli-responsive polymers chains to the CNC surface offers a solution to this problem. We have synthesized stimuli-responsive CNC whose surface properties can be reversibly switched using only carbon dioxide (CO2) as the trigger to conduct the switching process. The surfaces were modified using surface-initiated nitroxide mediated polymerisation (SI-NMP) with the CO2-responsive polymers poly(dimethylaminoethyl methacrylate) (PDMAEMA), poly(diethylaminoethyl methacrylate) (PDEAEMA) and poly(dimethylaminopropyl methacrylamide) (PDMAPMAm).

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Publication details

The article was received on 12 Apr 2017, accepted on 18 Jun 2017 and first published on 19 Jun 2017

Article type: Paper
DOI: 10.1039/C7PY00631D
Citation: Polym. Chem., 2017, Accepted Manuscript
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    Grafting CO2-responsive polymers from cellulose nanocrystals via nitroxide-mediated polymerisation

    O. García-Valdez, T. Brescacin, J. Arredondo, J. Bouchard, P. Jessop, P. Champagne and M. F. Cunningham, Polym. Chem., 2017, Accepted Manuscript , DOI: 10.1039/C7PY00631D

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