Microphase separation of highly amphiphilic, low N polymers by photoinduced copper-mediated polymerization, achieving sub-2 nm domains at half-pitch

Abstract

The lower limit of domain size resolution using microphase separation of short poly(acrylic acid) homopolymers equipped with a short fluorinated tail, posing as an antagonist 'A block' in pseudo AB block copolymers has been investigated. An alkyl halide initiator with a fluorocarbon chain was utilized as a first 'A block' in the synthesis of low molecular weight polymers (1400-4300 g mol -1) using photoinduced Cu(ii)-mediated polymerization allowing for very narrow dispersity. Poly(tert-butyl acrylate) was synthesized and subsequently deprotected to give very low degrees of polymerization (N), amphiphilic polymers with low dispersity (D = 1.06-1.13). By exploiting the high driving force for demixing and the well-defined 'block' sizes, we are able to control the nanostructure in terms of domain size (down to 3.4 nm full-pitch) and morphology. This work demonstrates the simple and highly controlled synthesis of polymers to push the boundaries of the smallest achievable domain sizes obtained from polymer self-assembly.

Publication DOI: https://doi.org/10.1039/C9PY01312A
Divisions: College of Engineering & Physical Sciences > School of Infrastructure and Sustainable Engineering > Chemical Engineering & Applied Chemistry
College of Engineering & Physical Sciences > Aston Institute of Materials Research (AIMR)
College of Engineering & Physical Sciences
Additional Information: © The Royal Society of Chemistry 2019. This Open Access Article is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Non Commercial 3.0 Unported Licence.
Uncontrolled Keywords: Bioengineering,Biochemistry,Polymers and Plastics,Organic Chemistry
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Related URLs: http://xlink.rs ... ?DOI=C9PY01312A (Publisher URL)
http://www.scop ... tnerID=8YFLogxK (Scopus URL)
PURE Output Type: Article
Published Date: 2019-12-14
Published Online Date: 2019-11-13
Accepted Date: 2019-10-14
Authors: Hancox, Ellis
Liarou, Evelina
Town, James S.
Jones, Glen R.
Layton, Siân A.
Huband, Steven
Greenall, Martin J.
Topham, Paul D. (ORCID Profile 0000-0003-4152-6976)
Haddleton, David M.

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