Rational synthesis of epoxy-functional spheres, worms and vesicles by RAFT aqueous emulsion polymerisation of glycidyl methacrylate


The rational synthesis of epoxy-functional diblock copolymer nano-objects has been achieved via RAFT aqueous emulsion polymerisation of glycidyl methacrylate (GlyMA; aqueous solubility ∼22 g dm-3 at 50 °C) by utilising relatively mild conditions (pH 7, 50 °C) to preserve the epoxy groups. High monomer conversions were achieved within 1 h when using a poly(glycerol monomethacrylate) chain transfer agent with a mean degree of polymerisation (DP) of 28, with GPC analysis indicating relatively narrow molecular weight distributions (Mw/Mn < 1.40) when targeting PGlyMA DPs up to 80. A phase diagram was constructed to identify the synthesis conditions required to access pure spheres, worms or vesicles. Transmission electron microscopy, dynamic light scattering and small-angle X-ray scattering (SAXS) studies indicated the formation of well-defined worms and vesicles when targeting relatively long PGlyMA blocks. These epoxy-functional nano-objects were derivatised via epoxy-thiol chemistry by reaction with l-cysteine in aqueous solution. Finally, an in situ SAXS study was conducted during the RAFT aqueous emulsion polymerisation of GlyMA at 50 °C to examine the nucleation and size evolution of PGMA48-PGlyMA100 diblock copolymer spheres using a bespoke stirrable reaction cell.

Publication DOI: https://doi.org/10.1039/D0PY01097A
Divisions: College of Engineering & Physical Sciences
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 > Aston Polymer Research Group
Additional Information: This article is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported Licence. Funding: S. P. A. thanks the ERC for an Advanced Investigator grant (PISA 320372) to support F. L. H. and the EPSRC for an Established Career Fellowship in Particle Technology (EP/ R003009). The Leverhulme Trust is also thanked for post-doctoral funding of M. J. D. (RPG-2016-330).
Uncontrolled Keywords: Bioengineering,Biochemistry,Polymers and Plastics,Organic Chemistry
Publication ISSN: 1759-9962
Last Modified: 13 May 2024 07:29
Date Deposited: 30 Sep 2020 10:07
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Related URLs: https://pubs.rs ... 7A#!divAbstract (Publisher URL)
http://www.scop ... tnerID=8YFLogxK (Scopus URL)
PURE Output Type: Article
Published Date: 2020-10-21
Published Online Date: 2020-09-10
Accepted Date: 2020-09-08
Authors: Hatton, Fiona L.
Derry, Matthew J. (ORCID Profile 0000-0001-5010-6725)
Armes, Steven P.



Version: Published Version

License: Creative Commons Attribution

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