Jump to main content
Jump to site search
SCHEDULED MAINTENANCE Close the message box

Maintenance work is planned for Monday 16 August 2021 from 07:00 to 23:59 (BST).

Website performance may be temporarily affected and you may not be able to access some PDFs or images. If this does happen, refreshing your web browser should resolve the issue. We apologise for any inconvenience this might cause and thank you for your patience.


Issue 11, 2017

Self-assembly of poly(lauryl methacrylate)-b-poly(benzyl methacrylate) nano-objects synthesised by ATRP and their temperature-responsive dispersion properties

Author affiliations

Abstract

Self-assembling poly(lauryl methacrylate)-b-poly(benzyl methacrylate) (PLMAx–PBzMAy) diblock copolymers were synthesised for the first time using solution atom transfer radical polymerisation (ATRP). The PLMA degree of polymerisation (x) was fixed at 14 and the PBzMA degree of polymerisation (y) was varied from 34 to 74. Post-polymerisation transfer of this new series of diblock copolymers from chloroform into n-dodecane (a poor solvent for PBzMA) resulted in self-assembly of polymeric nano-objects. The morphologies for the latter (spheres, worms and vesicles) were controlled by y. The observed morphologies generally agreed with those reported for related PLMAx–PBzMAy diblock copolymers (x ≥ 16) prepared by polymerisation induced self-assembly (PISA) via reversible addition–fragmentation chain transfer (RAFT) polymerisation (Fielding et al., J. Am. Chem. Soc., 2014, 136, 5790). However, a number of differences were observed such as de-gelation behaviour and the phase boundary positions compared to those expected from Fielding et al. Variable-temperature dynamic light scattering studies for the PLMA14–PBzMA34 spheres revealed that the aggregation number was unaffected by a temperature increase over the range of 20–90 °C, which differed markedly from the behaviour observed for PLMA14–PBzMA64 worms. This difference is a new observation with mechanistic importance for the worm-to-sphere breakdown mechanism. We show that concentrated PLMA14–PBzMAy dispersions (20% w/w) in n-dodecane can be prepared using post-polymerisation transfer. The dispersion with a mixed spherical and worm-like copolymer phase exhibited reversible de-gelation when heated. Surprisingly, the dispersions containing only the worm phase remained as gels (which were white) at temperatures up to 90 °C. Our new ATRP approach for preparing temperature-responsive non-aqueous nano-object dispersions presented here decoupled chain growth and self-assembly and will apply to other copolymer dispersions.

Graphical abstract: Self-assembly of poly(lauryl methacrylate)-b-poly(benzyl methacrylate) nano-objects synthesised by ATRP and their temperature-responsive dispersion properties

Supplementary files

Article information


Submitted
25 Nov 2016
Accepted
23 Feb 2017
First published
24 Feb 2017

This article is Open Access

Soft Matter, 2017,13, 2228-2238
Article type
Paper

Self-assembly of poly(lauryl methacrylate)-b-poly(benzyl methacrylate) nano-objects synthesised by ATRP and their temperature-responsive dispersion properties

M. Obeng, A. H. Milani, M. S. Musa, Z. Cui, L. A. Fielding, L. Farrand, M. Goulding and B. R. Saunders, Soft Matter, 2017, 13, 2228 DOI: 10.1039/C6SM02656G

This article is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported Licence. You can use material from this article in other publications without requesting further permissions from the RSC, provided that the correct acknowledgement is given.

Read more about how to correctly acknowledge RSC content.


Social activity

Search articles by author

Spotlight

Advertisements