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Issue 24, 2017
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Mussel-inspired thermoresponsive polymers with a tunable LCST by Cu(0)-LRP for the construction of smart TiO2 nanocomposites

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Abstract

In this study, we report on the synthesis of thermoresponsive polymers with different microstructures, a precisely tunable lower critical solution temperature (LCST) and terminal catechol anchors by copper(0) mediated living radical polymerization (Cu(0)-LRP). All the Cu(0)-LRP polymerizations were performed directly from the unprotected dopamine-functionalized initiators at ambient temperature or below in aqueous solution with full or close to full conversion obtained in minutes. The resulting polymers exhibited a designed molecular weight (MW), narrow MW distribution and high end-group fidelity capable of in situ block copolymerization. We demonstrate their application toward the surface modification of titanium dioxide nanoparticles by the successful preparation of smart nanocomposites with a self-flocculation effect. A “one-pot” strategy was then developed for the simultaneous polymerization and surface modification to simplify the multi-step purification and immobilization processes. The subsequent degradation of Rhodamine B under the irradiation of simulated solar light proved the potential application of hybrid nanocomposites in water treatment and a switching effect of photocatalytic ability below or above the LCST was also observed.

Graphical abstract: Mussel-inspired thermoresponsive polymers with a tunable LCST by Cu(0)-LRP for the construction of smart TiO2 nanocomposites

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Publication details

The article was received on 01 May 2017, accepted on 25 May 2017 and first published on 26 May 2017


Article type: Paper
DOI: 10.1039/C7PY00736A
Citation: Polym. Chem., 2017,8, 3679-3688
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    Mussel-inspired thermoresponsive polymers with a tunable LCST by Cu(0)-LRP for the construction of smart TiO2 nanocomposites

    D. Wang, S. Guo, Q. Zhang, P. Wilson and D. M. Haddleton, Polym. Chem., 2017, 8, 3679
    DOI: 10.1039/C7PY00736A

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