The photo-controlled polymerization-induced self-assembly and reorganization process for fabrication of polymeric nanomaterials
A visible light mediated reversible addition–fragmentation chain transfer (RAFT) dispersion polymerization of benzyl methacrylate (BzMA) is conducted in ethanol using poly(2-dimethylaminoethyl methacrylate) (PDMAEMA) as a macro-chain transfer agent (macro-CTA), affording polymeric nanomaterials with various morphologies. Unlike the polymerization-induced self-assembly and reorganization (PISR) process initiated by thermal stimuli, the photo-controlled PISR can be performed under more mild conditions, such as visible light and room temperature. Photoredox catalysis is employed to regulate the polymerization via a photoinduced electron transfer (PET) process. It is observed that the polymerization can be affected by catalyst concentration and light intensity, and “ON/OFF” control over polymerization is also demonstrated.