Unique aqueous self-assembly behavior of a thermoresponsive diblock copolymer

Abstract

It is well-recognized that block copolymer self-assembly in solution typically produces spheres, worms or vesicles, with the relative volume fraction of each block dictating the copolymer morphology. Stimulus-responsive diblock copolymers that can undergo either sphere/worm or vesicle/worm transitions are also well-documented. Herein we report a new amphiphilic diblock copolymer that can form spheres, worms, vesicles or lamellae in aqueous solution. Such self-assembly behavior is unprecedented for a single diblock copolymer of fixed composition yet is achieved simply by raising the solution temperature from 1 °C (spheres) to 25 °C (worms) to 50 °C (vesicles) to 70 °C (lamellae). Heating increases the degree of hydration (and hence the effective volume fraction) of the core-forming block, with this parameter being solely responsible for driving the sphere-to-worm, worm-to-vesicle and vesicle-to-lamellae transitions. The first two transitions exhibit excellent reversibility but the vesicle-to-lamellae transition exhibits hysteresis on cooling. This new thermoresponsive diblock copolymer provides a useful model for studying such morphological transitions and is likely to be of significant interest for theoretical studies.

Publication DOI: https://doi.org/10.1039/C9SC04197D
Divisions: College of Engineering & Physical Sciences
College of Engineering & Physical Sciences > School of Infrastructure and Sustainable Engineering > Chemical Engineering & Applied Chemistry
Additional Information: This article is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported Licence.
Uncontrolled Keywords: Chemistry(all)
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Related URLs: https://pubs.rs ... 7D#!divAbstract (Publisher URL)
http://www.scop ... tnerID=8YFLogxK (Scopus URL)
PURE Output Type: Article
Published Date: 2020-01-14
Published Online Date: 2019-11-12
Accepted Date: 2019-11-11
Authors: Byard, Sarah J.
O'brien, Cate T.
Derry, Matthew J. (ORCID Profile 0000-0001-5010-6725)
Williams, Mark
Mykhaylyk, Oleksandr O.
Blanazs, Adam
Armes, Steven P.

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