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Rational synthesis of epoxy-functional spheres, worms and vesicles by RAFT aqueous emulsion polymerisation of glycidyl methacrylate

DOI: 10.1039/D0PY01097A DOI Help

Authors: Fiona L. Hatton (University of Sheffield) , Matthew J. Derry (University of Sheffield) , Steven P. Armes (University of Sheffield)
Co-authored by industrial partner: No

Type: Journal Paper
Journal: Polymer Chemistry , VOL 28

State: Published (Approved)
Published: September 2020
Diamond Proposal Number(s): 15933

Open Access Open Access

Abstract: The rational synthesis of epoxy-functional diblock copolymer nano-objects has been achieved via RAFT aqueous emulsion polymerisation of glycidyl methacrylate (GlyMA; aqueous solubility ∼22 g dm−3 at 50 °C) by utilising relatively mild conditions (pH 7, 50 °C) to preserve the epoxy groups. High monomer conversions were achieved within 1 h when using a poly(glycerol monomethacrylate) chain transfer agent with a mean degree of polymerisation (DP) of 28, with GPC analysis indicating relatively narrow molecular weight distributions (Mw/Mn < 1.40) when targeting PGlyMA DPs up to 80. A phase diagram was constructed to identify the synthesis conditions required to access pure spheres, worms or vesicles. Transmission electron microscopy, dynamic light scattering and small-angle X-ray scattering (SAXS) studies indicated the formation of well-defined worms and vesicles when targeting relatively long PGlyMA blocks. These epoxy-functional nano-objects were derivatised via epoxy-thiol chemistry by reaction with L-cysteine in aqueous solution. Finally, an in situ SAXS study was conducted during the RAFT aqueous emulsion polymerisation of GlyMA at 50 °C to examine the nucleation and size evolution of PGMA48-PGlyMA100 diblock copolymer spheres using a bespoke stirrable reaction cell.

Subject Areas: Chemistry


Instruments: I22-Small angle scattering & Diffraction

Other Facilities: ID02 at ESRF

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d0py01097a.pdf

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