Tuning dispersity of linear polymers and polymeric brushes grown from nanoparticles by atom transfer radical polymerization
Molecular weight distribution imposes considerable influence on the properties of polymers, making it an important parameter, impacting morphology and structural behavior of polymeric materials. Atom transfer radical polymerization (ATRP) has established itself as a powerful tool to prepare polymers with predetermined molecular weight, preserved chain-end functionality, and low dispersity. More recently, ATRP has also been shown to provide a means to deliberately broaden molecular weight distributions, and, via retaining living chain-ends, to enable the formation of block copolymers with designed block dispersity, featuring new microstructures and potentially attractive properties. Similar methodologies have been developed to facilitate tuning of the dispersity of polymeric brushes grown from nanoparticles thus resulting in hybrid materials with enhanced fracture toughness and high inorganic content. Recent advances have given access to brush architectures comprised of uni- and bimodal block copolymers with unique morphologies along with interesting mechanical, thermal, and optical properties.
- This article is part of the themed collection: Tailoring dispersity and shape of molecular weight contributions