Polymerization techniques in polymerization-induced self-assembly (PISA)
The development of controlled/“living” polymerization greatly stimulated the prosperity of the fabrication and application of block copolymer nano-objects. Controlled/“living” polymerization was later extended to the scope of polymerization-induced self-assembly (PISA), in which a linear increase of the solvophobic blocks resulted in systemic variation of the packing parameter and almost ergodic morphology transitions. PISA combines polymerization and self-assembly in a much concentrated solution, which has been demonstrated to be a powerful strategy for fabricating block copolymer nano-objects. Various controlled/“living” polymerization techniques, such as reversible addition–fragmentation chain transfer (RAFT) polymerization, nitroxide-mediated polymerization (NMP), atom transfer radical polymerization (ATRP), “living” anionic polymerization, and ring-opening metathesis polymerization (ROMP), have been used in PISA to date. In this review, we summarize the developments of polymerization techniques in PISA, which complementarily enlarge the scope of PISA to a broad range of reaction conditions and monomer families.