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Polymers 2017, 9(10), 491; doi:10.3390/polym9100491

Ferrocene-Modified Block Copolymers for the Preparation of Smart Porous Membranes

Ernst-Berl Institute for Chemical Engineering and Macromolecular Science, Technische Universität Darmstadt, Alarich-Weiss-Str. 4, D-64287 Darmstadt, Germany
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 24 September 2017 / Revised: 5 October 2017 / Accepted: 5 October 2017 / Published: 8 October 2017
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Polymers and Block Copolymers at Interfaces and Surfaces)
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The design of artificially generated channels featuring distinct remote-switchable functionalities is of critical importance for separation, transport control, and water filtration applications. Here, we focus on the preparation of block copolymers (BCPs) consisting of polystyrene-block-poly(2-hydroxyethyl methacrylate) (PS-b-PHEMA) having molar masses in the range of 91 to 124 kg mol−1 with a PHEMA content of 13 to 21 mol %. The BCPs can be conveniently functionalized with redox-active ferrocene moieties by a postmodification protocol for the hydrophilic PHEMA segments. Up to 66 mol % of the hydroxyl functionalities can be efficiently modified with the reversibly redox-responsive units. For the first time, the ferrocene-containing BCPs are shown to form nanoporous integral asymmetric membranes by self-assembly and application of the non-solvent-induced phase separation (SNIPS) process. Open porous structures are evidenced by scanning electron microscopy (SEM) and water flux measurements, while efficient redox-switching capabilities are investigated after chemical oxidation of the ferrocene moieties. As a result, the porous membranes reveal a tremendously increased polarity after oxidation as reflected by contact angle measurements. Additionally, the initial water flux of the ferrocene-containing membranes decreased after oxidizing the ferrocene moieties because of oxidation-induced pore swelling of the membrane. View Full-Text
Keywords: block copolymers; metallopolymers; self-assembly; postmodification; membranes; stimuli-responsive polymers; phase inversion block copolymers; metallopolymers; self-assembly; postmodification; membranes; stimuli-responsive polymers; phase inversion

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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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Schöttner, S.; Hossain, R.; Rüttiger, C.; Gallei, M. Ferrocene-Modified Block Copolymers for the Preparation of Smart Porous Membranes. Polymers 2017, 9, 491.

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