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Synthesis of star thermoresponsive amphiphilic block copolymer nano-assemblies and the effect of topology on their thermoresponse

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Abstract

Well-defined multi-arm star thermoresponsive block copolymer nano-assemblies of [poly(N-isopropylacrylamide)-block-polystyrene]n [(PNIPAM-b-PS)n] with n = 1, 2, 3 and 4 arms were synthesized by RAFT dispersion polymerization via polymerization-induced self-assembly. By carefully changing the degree of polymerization (DP) of the polystyrene (PS) block and modulating the polymerization conditions, (PNIPAM-b-PS)n nano-assemblies with similar DP and similar chain density but different topology structures of the tethered poly(N-isopropylacrylamide) (PNIPAM) chains were obtained. By comparatively studying the thermoresponse via turbidity analysis, dynamic light scattering, variable-temperature 1H NMR and rheological analysis, it was found that the phase transition temperature of the tethered PNIPAM chains in the (PNIPAM-b-PS)n nano-assemblies correlates to the number of arms, n, demonstrating that the topology of the tethered PNIPAM chains exerts a significant influence on the thermoresponsive phase transition.

Graphical abstract: Synthesis of star thermoresponsive amphiphilic block copolymer nano-assemblies and the effect of topology on their thermoresponse

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Publication details

The article was received on 15 Nov 2018, accepted on 27 Nov 2018 and first published on 27 Nov 2018


Article type: Paper
DOI: 10.1039/C8PY01617H
Citation: Polym. Chem., 2019, Advance Article
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    Synthesis of star thermoresponsive amphiphilic block copolymer nano-assemblies and the effect of topology on their thermoresponse

    M. Cao, H. Nie, Y. Hou, G. Han and W. Zhang, Polym. Chem., 2019, Advance Article , DOI: 10.1039/C8PY01617H

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