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Self-Assembly and Multi-Stimuli Responsive Behavior of PAA-b-PAzoMA-b-PNIPAM Triblock Copolymers

Abstract

In this work, a triblock copolymer poly(acrylic acid)-block-poly[6-(4-methoxy-azobenzene-4'-oxy) hexylmethacrylate]-block-poly(N-isopropylacrylamide) (PAA-b-PAzoMA-b-PNIPAM) containing pH, photo and temperature sensitive groups was synthesized through three-step RAFT polymerization. By tuning solvents, the copolymer could self-assemble into spherical micelles or vesicles with multi-stimuli responsiveness. Either the micelles or the vesicles underwent obvious size decrease while temperature above the LCST of PNIPAM, and size increase while the pH value below the pKa of PAA without obvious morphology change. In addition, under UV irradiation, the micelles disrupted into much smaller particles whereas the vesicles transformed into micelles with apparent size decrease on account of trans-to-cis isomerization of the azobenzene moieties. Upon irradiation by linear polarized light, the micelles were elongated into spindles and short rods. Furthermore, the photo-isomerization rate of azobenzene moiety could be modulated by pH and temperature. The multi stimuli-responsive properties of PAA-b-PAzoMA-b-PNIPAM will further expand the potential application of azobenzene copolymer in smart materials.

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Publication details

The article was received on 15 Sep 2017, accepted on 31 Oct 2017 and first published on 31 Oct 2017


Article type: Paper
DOI: 10.1039/C7PY01591G
Citation: Polym. Chem., 2017, Accepted Manuscript
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    Self-Assembly and Multi-Stimuli Responsive Behavior of PAA-b-PAzoMA-b-PNIPAM Triblock Copolymers

    F. Gao, Y. Xing, Y. Yao, L. Sun, Y. Sun, X. He and S. Lin, Polym. Chem., 2017, Accepted Manuscript , DOI: 10.1039/C7PY01591G

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