Thermoresponsive Reversible Unimer Micelles of Amphiphilic Fluorinated Copolymers

Elisa Guazzelli, Elena Masotti, Manfred Kriechbaum, Frank Uhlig, Giancarlo Galli, Elisa Martinelli*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Amphiphilic fluorinated copolymers PEGMAx-co-FAy and TEGMAx-co-FAy are prepared by activators regenerated by electron transfer atom transfer radical polymerization (ARGET-ATRP). All polymers present a reversible thermoresponsive lower critical solution temperature-type behavior, and a cloud point temperature (T c) in the range of 30–60 °C strictly dependent on the length of the oxyethylene side chain, the content of the hydrophobic counits, and the concentration of the solution. Combined small angle X-ray scattering (SAXS) and dynamic light scattering measurements are used to study the self-assembly behavior in water, organic solvents (tetrahydrofuran [THF] and dimethylformamide [DMF]), and a fluorinated solvent (hexafluorobenzene [HFB]). SAXS confirms the formation of compact-globular single-chain self-folded unimer micelles in water below T c, which generally presents small hydrodynamic diameters (D h ≤ 8 nm) as a result of the folding of the hydrophobic perfluorohexylethyl acrylate counits. The copolymers are also able to form reverse unimer micelle in HFB. The copolymers are not able to self-assemble in unimer micelles in THF or DMF solutions, in which they adopt conventional random coil conformations.

Original languageEnglish
JournalMacromolecular Chemistry and Physics
Early online date4 Dec 2022
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 4 Dec 2022

Keywords

  • amphiphilic polymers
  • lower critical solution temperature
  • reverse micelles
  • single-chain nanoparticles
  • small angle X-ray scattering
  • thermoresponsive polymers

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Materials Chemistry
  • Polymers and Plastics
  • Physical and Theoretical Chemistry
  • Organic Chemistry

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