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Issue 23, 2017
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A facile strategy for manipulating micellar size and morphology through intramolecular cross-linking of amphiphilic block copolymers

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Abstract

The effect of intramolecular cross-linking in an amphiphilic block copolymer (BCP) system was systematically investigated in terms of its thermal properties, critical micelle concentration (CMC), and aqueous self-assembly. A series of linear BCPs consisting of poly(ethylene glycol) (PEG) as a hydrophilic block and poly(ε-caprolactone-co-7-allyloxepan-2-one) (P(CL-co-ACL)) as a hydrophobic block were prepared by the ring-opening copolymerization of ε-caprolactone (CL) and 7-allyloxepan-2-one (ACL) using poly(ethylene glycol)monomethyl ether as an initiator. The intramolecular olefin metathesis reaction in the P(CL-co-ACL) block was subsequently carried out under various conditions to prepare the cross-linked BCPs with different degrees of cross-linking. The thermal analysis confirmed that the linear P(CL-co-ACL) block was found to crystallize, while the cross-linked one showed no crystallinity. In addition, glass transition temperature of the P(CL-co-ACL) block increased upon cross-linking. On the other hand, the intramolecular cross-linking had no significant influence on the CMC. The self-assembled micelles were prepared from the obtained BCPs and their size and morphology were investigated. For the BCPs with relatively short PEG chains, the micellar size decreased from 36.6 nm to 16.7 nm as the degree of cross-linking of the P(CL-co-ACL) block increased. On the other hand, the BCPs with relatively long PEG chains showed a change in the micellar morphology from spherical micelles to short worm and large compound micelles upon cross-linking.

Graphical abstract: A facile strategy for manipulating micellar size and morphology through intramolecular cross-linking of amphiphilic block copolymers

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Publication details

The article was received on 17 Apr 2017, accepted on 23 May 2017 and first published on 23 May 2017


Article type: Paper
DOI: 10.1039/C7PY00646B
Citation: Polym. Chem., 2017,8, 3647-3656
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    A facile strategy for manipulating micellar size and morphology through intramolecular cross-linking of amphiphilic block copolymers

    R. Tanaka, K. Watanabe, T. Yamamoto, K. Tajima, T. Isono and T. Satoh, Polym. Chem., 2017, 8, 3647
    DOI: 10.1039/C7PY00646B

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