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Open AccessArticle

Synthesis of Block Copolymer Brush by RAFT and Click Chemistry and Its Self-Assembly as a Thin Film

1
Institut Européen des Membranes, IEM-UMR 5635, Univ Montpellier, ENSCM, CNRS, 34095 Montpellier, France
2
Department of Chemical Engineering, R&D Center for Membrane Technology, Chung Yuan Christian University, 200, Chung-Bei Rd., Chungli, Taoyuan, 320, Taiwan
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Andrew G. Tennyson
Molecules 2020, 25(20), 4774; https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules25204774
Received: 28 September 2020 / Revised: 14 October 2020 / Accepted: 16 October 2020 / Published: 17 October 2020
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Copolymers: Preparation and Applications)
A well-defined block copolymer brush poly(glycidyl methacrylate)-graft-(poly(methyl methacrylate)-block- poly(oligo(ethylene glycol) methyl ether methacrylate)) (PGMA-g-(PMMA-b-POEGMA)) is synthesized via grafting from an approach based on a combination of click chemistry and reversible addition-fragmentation chain transfer (RAFT) polymerization. The resulting block copolymer brushes were characterized by 1H-NMR and size exclusion chromatography (SEC). The self-assembly of the block copolymer brush was then investigated under selective solvent conditions in three systems: THF/water, THF/CH3OH, and DMSO/CHCl3. PGMA-g-(PMMA-b-POEGMA) was found to self-assemble into spherical micelle structures as analyzed by transmission electron microscopy (TEM) and dynamic light scattering (DLS). The average size of the particles was much smaller in THF/CH3OH and DMSO/CHCl3 as compared with the THF/water system. Thin film of block copolymer brushes with tunable surface properties was then prepared by the spin-coating technique. The thickness of the thin film was confirmed by scanning electron microscopy (SEM). Atom force microscopy (AFM) analysis revealed a spherical morphology when the block copolymer brush was treated with poor solvents for the backbone and hydrophobic side chains. The contact angle measurements were used to confirm the surface rearrangements of the block copolymer brushes. View Full-Text
Keywords: block copolymer brush; click chemistry; self-assembly; thin film block copolymer brush; click chemistry; self-assembly; thin film
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MDPI and ACS Style

Thankappan, H.; Semsarilar, M.; Li, S.; Chang, Y.; Bouyer, D.; Quemener, D. Synthesis of Block Copolymer Brush by RAFT and Click Chemistry and Its Self-Assembly as a Thin Film. Molecules 2020, 25, 4774.

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