Hydrophilic, cationic large-core star polymers and polymer networks: Synthesis and physicochemical characterization
SourceJournal of Polymer Science, Part A: Polymer Chemistry
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Group transfer polymerization was used to prepare hydrophilic, cationic large-core star polymers (LCSPs) and networks of 2-(dimethylamino)ethyl methacrylate (DMAEMA) and ethylene glycol dimethacrylate (EGDMA) in a two-step procedure involving the synthesis of linear DMAEMA arms, followed by their crosslinking using a mixture of DMAEMA monomer and EGDMA crosslinker. The degree of polymerization of the linear chains prepared in the first step was kept constant, while the composition of the crosslinking mixture was varied systematically at a constant amount of crosslinker. The monomer/crosslinker molar ratio determined whether LCSPs or polymer networks would be produced. In particular, a high monomer/crosslinker molar ratio led to the formation of networks, whereas LCSPs were formed when a low monomer/crosslinker molar ratio was used. The absolute weight-average molecular weight of the LCSPs was determined using static light scattering, whereas their hydrodynamic radii and radii of gyration were determined using dynamic light scattering and small-angle neutron scattering, respectively. The sol fraction extracted from the networks decreased as the monomer/crosslinker molar ratio increased. The degrees of swelling of all of the networks were measured as a function of pH and were found to increase below pH 7. ©2008 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.
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