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Issue 7, 2018
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Cylindrical micelles of a POSS amphiphilic dendrimer as nano-reactors for polymerization

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Abstract

A low generation amphiphilic dendrimer, POSS-AD, which has a POSS core and eight amphiphilic arms, was synthesized and used as a nano-reactor to produce well-defined polymer nano-cylinders. Confirmed by small-angle X-ray scattering (SAXS), Raman and NMR spectrometry, monodispersed cylindrical micelles that contain a hydrophilic cavity with a diameter of 2.09 nm and a length of 4.26 nm were produced via co-assembling POSS-AD with hydrophilic liquids, such as H2O and HEMA in hydrophobic solvents. Taking the HEMA/POSS-AD cylindrical micelles as nano-reactors, polymerization of HEMA within the micelles results in polymer nano-cylinders (POSS-ADNPs) with a diameter of 2.24 nm and a length of 5.02 nm. The study confirmed that despite the inability to maintain specific shape in solution, low generation dendrimers form well-defined nano-containers or nano-reactors, which relies on co-assembling with hydrophilic guest molecules. These nano-reactors are robust enough to maintain their shape during the polymerization of the guest molecules. Polymer nano-cylinders with dimensions less than 10 nm can thus be produced from the HEMA/POSS-AD micelles. Since the chemical structure of low-generation dendrimers and the contents of the co-assembled nano-reactors can be easily adjusted, the concept holds the potential for the further developments of low-generation amphiphilic dendrimers.

Graphical abstract: Cylindrical micelles of a POSS amphiphilic dendrimer as nano-reactors for polymerization

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Publication details

The article was received on 11 Oct 2017, accepted on 05 Jan 2018 and first published on 08 Jan 2018


Article type: Paper
DOI: 10.1039/C7NR07565K
Citation: Nanoscale, 2018,10, 3509-3517
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    Cylindrical micelles of a POSS amphiphilic dendrimer as nano-reactors for polymerization

    J. Weng, T. Yeh, A. Z. Samuel, Y. Huang, J. Sie, K. Wu, C. Peng, H. Hamaguchi and C. Wang, Nanoscale, 2018, 10, 3509
    DOI: 10.1039/C7NR07565K

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