Australian Journal of Chemistry Australian Journal of Chemistry Society
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Australian Journal of Chemistry

Australian Journal of Chemistry

Volume 67 Number 1 2014

Frontiers in Sino-Australian Polymer Science and Engineering

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Chemical modification has been demonstrated as an effective way to improve the mechanical strength and modulus, material flexibility, barrier properties, and thermal processability, and to introduce new functionalities in processing wheat gluten-based renewable and biodegradable polymer materials. This paper highlights new developments in the field during the last 10-12 years.

CH13485Polymer Complexation by Hydrogen Bonding at the Interface

Shuguang Yang, Songmei Ma, Chunyan Wang, Jian Xu and Meifang Zhu
pp. 11-21
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This paper reviews both single (once only) and repeated interfacial polymer complexation formed by hydrogen bonding, the available hydrogen bonding pairs for complexation, the thermodynamics and kinetics of complexation, and construction schemes.

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Poly(p-phenylene terephthalamide) (PPTA) containing alternately scattered TEMPO-containing co-units shows better thermal stability and more ordered intermolecular packing than that with randomly incorporated co-units. The former generates a nematic phase at a concentration of 18 wt-% in concentrated sulfuric acid, the latter at a concentration of 12 wt-%. Both of them can induce nitroxide-mediated radical polymerization of styrene to obtain graft copolymers with PPTA as main chains and polystyrene as side chains.

CH13357Synthesis of Anisotropic, Amphiphilic Grafted Multi-Star Polymers and Investigation of their Self-Assembling Characteristics

Anton Blencowe, Jing Fung Tan, Tor Kit Goh, Kenneth N. Goldie, Xuehua Zhang and Greg G. Qiao
pp. 49-58
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Amphiphilic multi-star architectures consisting of discrete poly(methacrylic acid)-based core cross-linked star polymers joined together by polystyrene-grafted linear connectors are synthesised and can self-assemble into large nanometre-scale vesicles.

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Peptide organogels assembled from a non-ionic alkyl-polypeptide are prepared using ring-opening polymerization of an α-amino acid N-carboxyanhydride. Poly-l-EG1Glu segments form a predominantly β-sheet conformation and the copolymers form nanoribbon structures in THF. The morphology of the nanoribbons was closely associated with the chain length of the alkyl-poly-l-EG1Glu.

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Aqueous dispersions of carbon nanotubes with poly(styrene sulfonate) were investigated over a range of pH and ionic strengths as a means of determining the potential for further application of the polymer as a protective agent for the tubes. The poly(styrene sulfonate) was found to be an effective dispersal agent, capable of reducing the size of the nanotube agglomerates within an aqueous solution and dispersing the tubes in a single-step process. The association of PSS with the tubes was found to remain with change in pH and ionic strength, while the dispersions became unstable and collapsed.

CH13323Recyclable Textiles Functionalized with Reduced Graphene Oxide@ZnO for Removal of Oil Spills and Dye Pollutants

Jinfeng Wang, Takuya Tsuzuki, Bin Tang, Lu Sun, Xiujuan J. Dai, Gayathri D. Rajmohan, Jingliang Li and Xungai Wang
pp. 71-77
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Reduced graphene oxide and ZnO nanoparticles were coated on the surface of a non-woven polyester textile substrate using a layer-by-layer assembly technique. The membrane showed efficient water/oil separation. The membrane also showed excellent adsorption efficiency and cycling performance for dye removal from water.

CH13391Radio-opaque Micelles for X-ray Imaging

Zhiyong Wang, Teddy Chang, Luke Hunter, Andrew M. Gregory, Marcel Tanudji, Steven Jones and Martina H. Stenzel
pp. 78-84
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Radio-opaque micelle were created that are suitable for X-ray imaging by the self-assembly of iodinated block copolymers. The micelle size was adjusted by the block lengths, which in turn could be altered by the reaction time of the RAFT polymerization.

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A novel kind of amphiphilic hyperbranched polymer (AHP), poly(2-(dimethylamino)ethyl methacrylate)-co-polystyrene (HPTAM-co-PS), was synthesized via the combination of reversible addition–fragmentation chain-transfer polymerization and self-condensing vinyl polymerization (RAFT-SCVP). Our work opens an avenue for the design of efficient dye-colouring additives and for the application of hyperbranched polymers in the field of polymer colouring.

CH13365A Facile Approach to Fabrication of Novel Magnetic Hydrogels Crosslinked by Multi-Functional Pomegranate-Like Nanospheres

Mengge Xia, Yiheng Wang, Yan Zhang, Yanhua Cheng, Shaohua Chen, Ruili Wang, Zhouqi Meng and Meifang Zhu
pp. 112-120
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This paper describes the preparation process of magnetic hydrogels. Pomegranate-like functional magnetic nanospheres (FMNs) were prepared by embedding Fe3O4 nanoparticles into polystyrene through miniemulsion polymerization. Magnetic hydrogels were fabricated using FMNs as photoactive crosslinkers and polyacrylamide as polymer matrix by photoinitiated free radical polymerization.

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A simple and cost-effective strategy to create a strong interfacial interaction of coordination bonds in graphene oxide/poly(ethylene oxide) nanocomposites is described. The strong interfacial interaction realizes efficient load transfer during the tensile process to significantly improve the mechanical properties.

CH13334Complex Micelles with Glucose-Responsive Shells for Self-Regulated Release of Glibenclamide

Rujiang Ma, Xiaocheng Sun, Xiaojun Liu, Yingli An and Linqi Shi
pp. 127-133
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Complex micelles with glucose-responsive shells were prepared by self-assembly of two diblock copolymers in aqueous solution. Glibenclamide was hydrophobically loaded in the micelles. Self-regulated release of glibenclamide from the complex micelles was achieved by reversible change of the polymer chains in response to a change in glucose concentration.

CH13336Responsive P(NIPAM-co-AA) Particle-Functionalized Magnetic Microspheres

Yiheng Wang, Mengge Xia, Yongtao Wu and Meifang Zhu
pp. 134-141
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Smaller polystyrene/P(NIPAM-co-AA) core–shell nanoparticles were adhered to the surface of amino-modified Fe3O4@SiO2 microspheres by electrostatic interactions, and an amidation reaction between the carboxylic and amino groups on the respective surfaces was then catalyzed to obtained novel architecture magnetic microspheres with multiresponsive functionalities.

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Water-soluble antibacterial agent poly(hexamethylene guanidine hydrochloride) (PHMG) oligomers are converted via facile template polymerization into water-dispersible antibacterial nanoparticles, thus making them suitable for the preparation of coatings and textiles with long-term antibacterial activity.

CH13401Surface Modification of Multiwalled Carbon Nanotubes with Engineered Self-Assembled RAFT Diblock Coatings

Yue Liu, Xiaojuan Hao, Lynne J. Waddington, Jieshan Qiu and Timothy C. Hughes
pp. 151-158
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A novel approach for coating multiwalled carbon nanotubes (MWCNTs) via electrostatic interactions with RAFT diblock copolymers was developed, enabling considerable improvement in the dispersibility of the MWCNTs in phosphate buffered saline solution.

CH13243Optical Characterisation of Non-Covalent Interactions between Non-Conjugated Polymers and Chemically Converted Graphene

Yufei Wang, Xueliang Hou, Chi Cheng, Ling Qiu, Xuehua Zhang, George P. Simon and Dan Li
pp. 168-172
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π-Conjugated dye molecule were used as an optical probe to reveal the interactions between chemically converted graphene and non-conjugated, water soluble polymers in aqueous solution. This finding provides a simple, non-covalent approach to functionalisation of graphene and fabrication of graphene/polymer nanocomposites.

CH13425Azobenzene-Functionalised Core Cross-Linked Star Polymers and their Host–Guest Interactions

Shereen Tan, Edgar H. H. Wong, Qiang Fu, Jing M. Ren, Adrian Sulistio, Katharina Ladewig, Anton Blencowe and Greg G. Qiao
pp. 173-178
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The highly efficient one-pot synthesis of water-soluble poly(2-hydroxyethyl acrylate) (PHEA)-based core cross-linked star (CCS) polymers via single electron transfer-living radical polymerisation is described. The functionalised CCS polymers form photoreversible supramolecular complexes with cyclodextrins through host–guest interactions, whereby dissociation of the complexes could be externally controlled upon application of ultraviolet irradiation.

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Professor Kenneth Seddon OBE, one of AJC’s longest-standing Editors, sadly passed away on 21 January from prostate cancer. Ken was one of the world's best ionic liquids experts. His consistent unwavering support, loyalty and advocacy for AJC over the last 10 years will be sorely missed.