Expanding the scope of the crystallization-driven self-assembly of polylactide-containing polymers†
We report the crystallization-driven self-assembly of diblock copolymers bearing a poly(L-lactide) block into cylindrical micelles. Three different hydrophilic corona-forming blocks have been employed: poly(4-acryloyl morpholine) (P4AM), poly(ethylene oxide) (PEO) and poly(N,N-dimethylacrylamide) (PDMA). Optimization of the experimental conditions to improve the dispersities of the resultant cylinders through variation of the solvent ratio, the polymer concentration, and the addition speed of the selective solvent is reported. The last parameter has been shown to play a crucial role in the homogeneity of the initial solution, which leads to a pure cylindrical phase with a narrow distribution of length. The hydrophilic characters of the polymers have been shown to direct the length of the resultant cylinders, with the most hydrophilic corona block leading to the shortest cylinders.