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RAFT dispersion polymerization in silicone oil

DOI: 10.1021/acs.macromol.9b00129 DOI Help

Authors: Matthew J. Rymaruk (University of Sheffield) , Saul J. Hunter (University of Sheffield) , Cate T. O'Brien (University of Sheffield) , Steven L. Brown (Scott Bader Company Ltd) , Clive N. Williams (Scott Bader Company Ltd) , Steven P. Armes (University of Sheffield)
Co-authored by industrial partner: No

Type: Journal Paper
Journal: Macromolecules

State: Published (Approved)
Published: March 2019
Diamond Proposal Number(s): 19852

Abstract: A near-monodisperse monohydroxy-terminated polydimethylsiloxane (PDMS; mean degree of polymerization = 66) was esterified using a carboxylic acid-functionalized trithiocarbonate to yield a PDMS66 precursor with a mean degree of functionality of 92 ± 5% as determined by 1H NMR spectroscopy. This PDMS66 precursor was then chain-extended in turn using eight different methacrylic monomers in a low-viscosity silicone oil (decamethylcyclopentasiloxane, D5). Depending on the monomer type, such syntheses proceeded via either RAFT dispersion polymerization or RAFT emulsion polymerization. In each case the target DP of the core-forming block was fixed at 200, and the copolymer concentration was 25% w/w. Transmission electron microscopy studies indicated that kinetically trapped spheres were obtained in almost all cases. The only exception was 2-(dimethylamino)ethyl methacrylate (DMA), which enabled access to spheres, worms, or vesicles. This striking difference is attributed to the relatively low glass transition temperature for this latter block. A phase diagram was constructed for a series of PDMS66–PDMAx nano-objects by systematically increasing the PDMA target DP from 20 to 220 and varying the copolymer concentration between 10 and 30% w/w. Higher copolymer concentrations were required to access a pure worm phase, while only spheres, vesicles, or mixed phases were accessible at lower copolymer concentrations. Gel permeation chromatography studies indicated a linear evolution of number-average molecular weight (Mn) with PDMA DP while dispersities remained below 1.40, suggesting relatively well-controlled RAFT polymerizations. Small-angle X-ray scattering (SAXS) was used to characterize selected examples of spheres, worms, and vesicles. PDMS66–PDMA100–112 worms synthesized at 25–30% w/w formed free-standing gels at 20 °C. Oscillatory rheology studies performed on a 30% w/w PDMS66–PDMA105 worm dispersion indicated a storage modulus (gel strength) of 1057 Pa and a critical gelation concentration (CGC) of approximately 12% w/w. Finally, PDMS66–PDMAx worms could also be prepared in n-dodecane, hexamethyldisiloxane, or octamethylcyclotetrasiloxane. Rotational rheometry studies indicate that such worms are efficient viscosity modifiers for these nonpolar oils.

Journal Keywords: Vesicles; RAFT polymerization; Copolymers; Colloids; Silicones

Subject Areas: Chemistry, Materials


Instruments: I22-Small angle scattering & Diffraction

Other Facilities: ESRF

Added On: 26/03/2019 10:39

Discipline Tags:

Organic Chemistry Materials Science Polymer Science Soft condensed matter physics Chemistry

Technical Tags:

Scattering Small Angle X-ray Scattering (SAXS)