Functionalization and metathesis polymerization induced self-assembly of an alternating copolymer into giant vesicles†
A facile fabrication of spherical vesicles and micelles by acyclic diene metathesis (ADMET) polymerization and alternative metathesis polymerization (ALTMET) was investigated. We utilize fluorine (FL) and perylene diimide-based (PDI) α,ω-dienes and α,ω-diacrylates to provide a series of homopolymers and alternating copolymers. When using α,ω-dienes as model monomers, TEM measurement indicates that the aromatic FL and PDI building block induced polymers to generate medium-sized (30–50 nm and 90–120 nm, respectively) micelles and vesicles. It was amazing that alternating copolymers derived from PDI α,ω-dienes and FL α,ω-diacrylates spontaneously form giant vesicles with sizes in the range of 0.7 μm to 2.5 μm. The controlled self-assembly of the organic polymer mediated by ADMET and ALTMET techniques avoided extremely annoying post treatment. Therefore, this work establishes a new, versatile synthetic strategy to create nanoparticles having tunable morphologies with potential application as molecular payload delivery vehicles.