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Self-assembly into multicompartment micelles and selective solubilization by hydrophilic-lipophilic-fluorophilic block copolymers

: Marsat, J.-N.; Heydenreich, M.; Kleinpeter, E.; Berlepsch, H. von; Böttcher, C.; Laschewsky, A.


Macromolecules 44 (2011), No.7, pp.2092-2105
ISSN: 0024-9297
ISSN: 1520-5835
Journal Article
Fraunhofer IAP ()

Amphiphilic linear ternary block copolymers (ABC) were synthesized in three consecutive steps by the reversible addition fragmentation chain transfer (RAFT) method. Using oligo(ethylene oxide) monomethyl ether acrylate, benzyl acrylate, and 1H,1H-perfluorobutyl acrylate monomers, the triblock copolymers consist of a hydrophilic (A), a lipophilic (B), and a fluorophilic (C) block. The block sequence of the triphilic copolymers was varied systematically to provide all possible variations: ABC, ACB, and BAC. All blocks have glass transition temperatures below 0 degrees C. Self-assembly into spherical micellar aggregates was observed in aqueous solution, where hydrophobic cores undergo local phase separation into various ultrastructures as shown by cryogenic transmission electron microscopy (cryo-TEM). Selective solubilization of substantial quantities of hydrocarbon and fluorocarbon low molar mass compounds by the lipophilic and fluorophilic block, respectively, is demonstrated.