AB-alternating copolymers via chain-growth polymerization: synthesis, characterization, self-assembly, and functions
An AB-alternating copolymer is distinctly unique in comparison with other copolymers (e.g., random, gradient, and block) because the structure is uniform in terms of sequence: there is no composition distribution among the chains, and there are no consecutive sequence such as AA or AAA in one chain. Various types of alternating copolymers have been synthesized via strategic monomer design and advanced control of the copolymerization process. They exhibit the unique self-assembly behaviors and properties derived from the sequence, which are different from random or block copolymers in some cases. In this review, four topics related to alternating copolymers synthesized via chain-growth polymerization are reviewed: (1) how to control the alternating sequence; (2) sequence characterization; (3) self-assembly; and (4) functions.