Monodisperse magnetic ion imprinted polymeric microparticles prepared by RAFT polymerization based on γ-Fe2O3@meso-SiO2 nanospheres for selective solid-phase extraction of Cu(ii) in water samples†
Utilising a general protocol for making surface-imprinted core–shell microparticles via a RAFT-mediated approach, we developed a Cu(II) imprinted polymer with a novel magnetic nanosphere, γ-Fe2O3@meso-SiO2, as support. Attributed to the controlled/living polymerization mechanism of the RAFT polymerization process, the Cu(II) imprinted polymer prepared by RAFT polymerization (IIP-RAFT) presented a more well-defined morphology, more mono-dispersed properties, and much higher magnetic responsiveness, compared to the Cu(II) imprinted polymer prepared by traditional free-radical polymerization (IIP-TP). Moreover, in the static saturation binding experiments, a higher binding capacity of IIP-RAFT (210 mg g−1) than IIP-TP (145 mg g−1) was also found. Afterwards, a series of adsorption experiments were carried out to systematically evaluate the adsorption performance of the as-prepared IIP-RAFT. And the results showed that IIP-RAFT exhibited excellent selectivity, good reusability and desirable dynamic adsorption behavior, and could be an ideal candidate for SPE sorbents for the removal of Cu(II) in real wastewater.