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Issue 13, 2012
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Ambient temperature synthesis of narrow or monodisperse, highly cross-linked, and “living” polymer microspheres by atom transfer radical precipitation polymerization

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Abstract

A facile ambient temperature atom transfer radical precipitation polymerization (ATRPP) approach is developed for the efficient one-pot synthesis of narrow or monodisperse, highly cross-linked, and “living” polymer microspheres under mild reaction conditions. The simple introduction of an atom transfer radical polymerization (ATRP) mechanism into a precipitation polymerization system, together with the rational use of polar alcoholic solvents, allows the direct ambient temperature preparation of uniform “living” polymer microspheres with their number-average diameters ranging from 0.36–1.95 μm and their particle size distributions being typically less than 1.01. The polymerization parameters (including the monomer loading, polymerization time, and kind of alcoholic solvent) proved to have a pronounced influence on the yields and morphologies of the polymer microspheres, which makes it very convenient to tailor the particle sizes by tuning the polymerization conditions. The general applicability of ambient temperature ATRPP was demonstrated by its successful application in a range of alcoholic solvents as well as its versatility in the synthesis of a series of uniform copolymer microspheres of different monovinyl functional monomers (4-vinylpyridine, glycidyl methacrylate, methyl methacrylate, and 2-hydroxyethyl methacrylate) with ethylene glycol dimethacrylate. In addition, the “livingness” of the resulting polymer microspheres was confirmed by their direct grafting of hydrophilic polymer brushes via surface-initiated ambient temperature ATRP, leading to advanced functional polymer microspheres with significantly improved surface hydrophilicity.

Graphical abstract: Ambient temperature synthesis of narrow or monodisperse, highly cross-linked, and “living” polymer microspheres by atom transfer radical precipitation polymerization

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Supplementary files

Article information


Submitted
06 Dec 2011
Accepted
07 Apr 2012
First published
17 May 2012

RSC Adv., 2012,2, 5651-5662
Article type
Paper

Ambient temperature synthesis of narrow or monodisperse, highly cross-linked, and “living” polymer microspheres by atom transfer radical precipitation polymerization

J. Jiang, Y. Zhang, X. Guo and H. Zhang, RSC Adv., 2012, 2, 5651
DOI: 10.1039/C2RA01249A

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