Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering Faculty Research

Title

Visualization of Arborescent Architecture of Polystyrenes Prepared by Raft-based Inimer Polymerization Using Atomic Force Microscopy

Document Type

Article

Publication Date

Spring 2012

Abstract

This article presents the utilization of “molecular amplification” to visualize the molecular architecture of “arborescent” (tree-like) polystyrenes (arbPSs) using atomic force microscopy (AFM). arbPSs with Mn > 80,000 g/mol were synthesized via initiator-monomer-type (inimer) RAFT polymerization of styrene mediated by 4-vinylbenzyl dithiobenzoate in bulk. These arbPS were then used as macrochain transfer agents for polymerization of vinylbenzyl chloride (VBCl) to give arborescent poly(styrene-block-vinylbenzyl chloride) (arbPS-b-VBCl). Poly(styryl) diphenylethyl lithium (Mn = 11,000 g/mol) was then grafted onto the VBCl units of the arbPS-b-VBCl. The Mn of the amplified arbPSs increased over >10 million g/mol, exceeding the exclusion limit of our size exclusion chromatography equipment. AFM confirmed the proposed branches on branches architecture in the samples, together with lesser branched species. © 2012 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. J Polym Sci Part A: Polym Chem, 2012

Publication Title

Journal of Polymer Science Part A: Polymer Chemistry

Volume

50

Issue

6

First Page

1238

Last Page

1247