Synthesis of transition-metal-free and sulfur-free nanoparticles and nanocapsules via reversible complexation mediated polymerization (RCMP) and polymerization induced self-assembly (PISA)†
NaI-catalyzed reversible complexation mediated living radical polymerization (RCMP) was combined with polymerization induced self-assembly (PISA) to generate self-assemblies. Poly(methacrylic acid) (PMAA) and poly(methyl methacrylate) (PMMA) were used as hydrophilic and hydrophobic segments, respectively, to generate self-assemblies. Micelles (nano-particles), worms (nano-cylinders), and vesicles (nano-capsules) were generated in ethanol at 5–9 wt% solid content. The self-assemblies were also fixed (crosslinked) by using a cross-linkable divinyl monomer, i.e., ethylene glycol dimethacrylate (EGDMA), as a co-monomer in the hydrophobic segment. NaI-catalyzed RCMP is a heavy-metal-free and sulfur-free synthetic method. The nano-particles, cylinders, and capsules obtained through the RCMP/PISA process are highly attractive for biomedical, healthcare, cosmetics, and agrochemical release applications.