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Polymers 2017, 9(9), 422; doi:10.3390/polym9090422

Acid-Labile Surfactants Based on Poly(ethylene glycol), Carbon Dioxide and Propylene Oxide: Miniemulsion Polymerization and Degradation Studies

Institute of Organic Chemistry, Duesbergweg 10-14, Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz, 55128 Mainz, Germany
Max Planck Institute for Polymer Research, Ackermannweg 10, 55128 Mainz, Germany
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 29 July 2017 / Revised: 31 August 2017 / Accepted: 1 September 2017 / Published: 6 September 2017
(This article belongs to the Special Issue From Amphiphilic to Polyphilic Polymers)
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Partially degradable, nonionic AB and ABA type di- and triblock copolymers based on poly(propylene carbonate) and poly(ethylene glycol) blocks were synthesized via immortal copolymerization of carbon dioxide and propylene oxide, using mPEG or PEG as a macroinitiator, and (R,R)-(salcy)-CoOBzF5 as a catalyst in a solvent-free one-pot procedure. The amphiphilic surfactants were prepared with molecular weights (Mn) between 2800 and 10,000 g·mol1 with narrow molecular weight distributions (1.03–1.09). The copolymers were characterized using 1H-, 13C- and DOSY-NMR spectroscopy and size exclusion chromatography (SEC). Surface-active properties were determined by surface tension measurements (critical micelle concentration, CMC; CMC range: 1–14 mg·mL1). Degradation of the acid-labile polycarbonate blocks was investigated in aqueous solution using online 1H-NMR spectroscopy and SEC. The amphiphilic polymers were used as surfactants in a direct miniemulsion polymerization for poly(styrene) (PS) nanoparticles with mean diameter of 270 to 940 nm. The usage of an acid-triggered precipitation of the emulsion simplified the separation of the particles from the surfactant and purification of the nanoparticles. View Full-Text
Keywords: polycarbonate; CO2; surfactant; miniemulsion polymerization; degradation; nanoparticle polycarbonate; CO2; surfactant; miniemulsion polymerization; degradation; nanoparticle

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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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Scharfenberg, M.; Wald, S.; Wurm, F.R.; Frey, H. Acid-Labile Surfactants Based on Poly(ethylene glycol), Carbon Dioxide and Propylene Oxide: Miniemulsion Polymerization and Degradation Studies. Polymers 2017, 9, 422.

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