Synthesis and characterization of amphiphilic multiblock copolymers: Effect of the number of blocks on micellization
AuthorHadjiantoniou, Natalie A.
Triftaridou, Aggeliki I.
Patrickios, Costas S.
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Five linear amphiphilic multiblock copolymers based on 2-(dimethylamino) ethyl methacrylate ("D") and methyl methacrylate ("M"), bearing from two to six blocks, were synthesized using sequential group transfer polymerization. All copolymers were obtained from the same polymerization flask (by the withdrawal of a sufficient amount of sample and appropriate adjustment of subsequent monomer loadings) to ensure better comparison between the various multiblocks. A theoretical degree of polymerization (DPth) of 20 was targeted for all D blocks, whereas a DPth of 10 was aimed for the M blocks. Upon characterization using gel permeation chromatography and H NMR spectroscopy, the copolymers were confirmed to have the expected values of molecular weights and compositions. Subsequently, the aqueous micellization behavior of these copolymers was probed using dye solubilization, dynamic light scattering, and small-angle neutron scattering. Dye solubilization experiments indicated that micelles readily formed at low copolymer concentrations equal to or less than 0.03% w/w. The scattering measurements revealed that despite the differences in their overall DPth values, the triblock, the tetrablock, and the pentablock copolymers selfassembled in water to form micelles with radii of gyration and hydrodynamic radii very similar to each other, suggesting chain looping and the formation of flowerlike micelles, which is in agreement with recent Monte Carlo simulations. © 2009 American Chemical Society.
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