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Issue 12, 2018
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Synthesis and characterization of ureido-derivatized UCST-type poly(ionic liquid) microgels

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Abstract

We report a class of stimuli-responsive poly(ionic liquid) microgel that possesses an upper critical solution temperature (UCST). Such a microgel is synthesized from ureido polymers via quaternary ammonization and post synthetic modification by anion-exchange treatment. These microgels can undergo reversible UCST-type volume phase transitions in response to the changes in temperature of water, methanol, and water/methanol mixtures, such that the temperature-responsive volume phase transition behavior can be readily tuned over a significantly wide range in a miscible mixture of water/methanol by varying the mol ratio of the two solvents, resulting in a phase diagram displaying the UCST-type co-nonsolvency phase separation phenomenon. At a set temperature in our experimental temperature window of 20.0–64.0 °C, the microgels can undergo an isothermal re-entrant swelling–shrinking–swelling transition as the methanol content increases in the water/methanol mixture. Moreover, these microgels as catalysts in a model esterification reaction of palmitic acid with methanol can display merits of both homogeneous (considerably high efficient catalytic activity) and heterogeneous (excellent recyclability) catalysis. With UCST-type responsive phase behavior and catalytic properties harnessed on the same object, the microgels react to external stimuli which allows their catalytic properties to be altered accordingly, to a certain extent, in a novel non-monotonous way different from that reported previously on the catalyst systems using LCST-type microgels.

Graphical abstract: Synthesis and characterization of ureido-derivatized UCST-type poly(ionic liquid) microgels

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Publication details

The article was received on 17 Jan 2018, accepted on 24 Feb 2018 and first published on 26 Feb 2018


Article type: Paper
DOI: 10.1039/C8PY00077H
Citation: Polym. Chem., 2018,9, 1439-1447
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    Synthesis and characterization of ureido-derivatized UCST-type poly(ionic liquid) microgels

    S. Chen, A. Chang, X. Lin, Z. Zhai, F. Lu, S. Zhou, H. Guo and W. Wu, Polym. Chem., 2018, 9, 1439
    DOI: 10.1039/C8PY00077H

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