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Straightforward Access to Amphiphilic Dual Bottle Brushes by Combining RAFT, ATRP, and NMP Polymerization in One Sequence

: Zehm, D.; Laschewsky, A.; Liang, H.; Rabe, J.P.


Macromolecules 44 (2011), No.24, pp.9635-9641
ISSN: 0024-9297
ISSN: 1520-5835
Journal Article
Fraunhofer IAP ()

Molecular brush diblock copolymers were synthesized by the orthogonal overlay of the RAFT (reversible addition–fragmentation chain transfer), the ATRP (atom transfer radical polymerization), and the NMP (nitroxide-mediated polymerization) techniques. This unique combination enabled the synthesis of the complex amphiphilic polymers without the need of postpolymerization modifications, using a diblock copolymer intermediate made from two selectively addressable inimers and applying a sequence of four controlled free radical polymerization steps in total. The resulting polymers are composed of a thermosensitive poly(N-isopropylacrylamide) brush as hydrophilic block and a polystyrene brush as hydrophobic block, thus translating the structure of the established amphiphilic diblock copolymers known as macro surfactants to the higher size level of “giant surfactants”. The dual molecular brushes and the aggregates formed on ultra flat solid substrates were visualized by scanning force microscopy (SFM).