Cylindrical polymer brushes with dendritic side chains by iterative anionic reactions
KAUST DepartmentKAUST Catalysis Center (KCC)
Physical Sciences and Engineering (PSE) Division
Polymer Synthesis Laboratory
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AbstractWe report in this paper an easy method for the synthesis of cylindrical polymer brushes with dendritic side chains through anionic reaction. The synthesis is accomplished by iteratively grafting a living block copolymer, polyisoprene-. b-polystyrenyllithium (PI-. b-PSLi), to the main chain and subsequently to the branches in a divergent way. PI segment is short and serves as a precursor for multifunctional branching unit. The grafting reaction involves two successive steps: i) epoxidation of internal double bonds of PI segments, either in main chain or side chains; ii) ring-opening addition to the resulting epoxy group by the living PI-. b-PSLi. Repeating the two steps affords a series of cylindrical polymer brushes with up to 3rd generation and extremely high molecular weight. The branching multiplicity depends on the average number of oxirane groups per PI segment, usually ca. 8 in the present work. The high branching multiplicity leads to tremendous increase in molecular weights of the cylindrical products with generation growth. Several series of cylindrical polymer brushes with tunable aspect ratios are prepared using backbones and branches with controlled lengths. Shape anisotropy is investigated in dilute solution using light scattering technique. Worm-like single molecular morphology with large persistence length is observed on different substrates by atomic force microscopy.