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Open AccessArticle

A Novel Strategy for the Synthesis of Amphiphilic and Thermoresponsive Poly(N-isopropylacrylamide)-b-Polystyrene Block Copolymers via ATRP

Faculty of Chemistry, University of Warsaw, Pasteura 1, 02-093 Warsaw, Poland
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Polymers 2019, 11(9), 1484; https://doi.org/10.3390/polym11091484
Received: 7 August 2019 / Revised: 1 September 2019 / Accepted: 9 September 2019 / Published: 11 September 2019
A new synthetic approach is presented for the preparation of Poly(N-isopropylacrylamide-block-styrene) PNIPAM-b-PS via an Atom Transfer Radical Polymerization (ATRP) technique. The proposed method is based on application of 2-chloro-N-(2-hydroxyethyl)propanamide (NCPAE) as a bifunctional initiator, which enables ATRP of two monomers, differing in activity and polarity, into two stages. The synthesized copolymer molecules contain two well-defined polymer chains connected by a linker, which is a derivative of the proposed initiator. Using NCPAE led to PNIPAMs with well-planned molecular weight, low polydispersities (PDI=1.1÷1.3) and hydroxyl functionality. Activation of such blocks for initiation of styrene polymerization was performed using α-bromoisobutyryl bromide. After such a modification, the synthesized homopolymers acted as macroinitiators in ARGET ATRP and a well-defined polystyrene block, as the next one in the polymer chain was successfully formed. Both of the synthesized macromolecules, PNIPAM and PNIPAM-b-PS, exhibit a thermoresponsive behavior with explicit lower critical solution temperatures (LCST) in their aqueous solutions. The synthesized homopolymers and subsequently derived block copolymers were characterized using Size-Exclusion Chromatography, Differential Scanning Calorimetry, Dynamic Light Scattering, and NMR spectroscopy. View Full-Text
Keywords: smart materials; quasiliving polymerization; controlled radical polymerization; ATRP; thermoresponsive polymers smart materials; quasiliving polymerization; controlled radical polymerization; ATRP; thermoresponsive polymers
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Fedorczyk, M.; Krzywicka, A.; Cieciórski, P.; Romański, J.; Megiel, E. A Novel Strategy for the Synthesis of Amphiphilic and Thermoresponsive Poly(N-isopropylacrylamide)-b-Polystyrene Block Copolymers via ATRP. Polymers 2019, 11, 1484.

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