Poly(ethylene glycol)-based amphiphilic model conetworks: Synthesis by RAFT polymerization and characterization
Legge, T. M.
Patrickios, Costas S.
SourceJournal of Polymer Science, Part A: Polymer Chemistry
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Polyethylene glycol) (PEG)-containing quasi-model amphiphilic polymer conetworks (APCNs) were prepared by reversible addition fragmentation chain transfer (RAFT) polymerization using α,ω-bis(2-cyanoprop-2-yl dithiobenzoate)-PEG as a bifunctional RAFT macrochain transfer agent (macro-CTA) and stepwise additions of a hydrophobic monomer and a crosslinker (crosslinker: macro-CTA = 10:1, reaction time 24 h). Three different types of monomers, methyl methacrylate (MMA), n-butyl acrylate and styrene, were employed as the hydrophobic monomers, whereas ethylene glycol dimethacrylate, ethylene glycol diacrylate and 1,4-divinylbenzene served as the respective crosslinkers. PEG homopolymer hydrophilic quasi-model networks were also prepared by RAFT-polymerizing the three crosslinkers directly onto the two active ends of the PEG-based macro-CTA. From the three ABA triblock copolymers prepared, the MMA-containing one was obtained at the highest polymerization yields. The crosslinking yields of the three ABA triblock copolymers with the corresponding crosslinkers were higher than those of the PEG-based macro-CTA with the same crosslinkers. The degrees of swelling (DSs) of all conetworks were measured in water and in tetrahydrofuran (THF). The DSs of the APCNs in THF were higher than those in water, whereas the reverse was true for the DSs of the hydrophilic homopolymer networks. Finally, the aqueous DSs of the APCNs were lower than those of the corresponding hydrophilic homopolymer networks. © 2008 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.
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