Australian Journal of Chemistry Australian Journal of Chemistry Society
An international journal for chemical science
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Synthesis and Self-assembly of Amphiphilic Hetero-arm Molecular Brushes

Waled Hadasha A , Mpho Mothunya A , Niels Akeroyd A B and Bert Klumperman A C

A Stellenbosch University, Department of Chemistry and Polymer Science, Private Bag X1, Matieland 7602, South Africa.

B Present address: Radboud University Nijmegen, Institute for Molecules and Materials, Heyendaalseweg 135, Nijmegen 6525 AJ, The Netherlands.

C Corresponding author. Email: bklump@sun.ac.za

Australian Journal of Chemistry 64(8) 1100-1105 https://doi.org/10.1071/CH11213
Submitted: 25 May 2011  Accepted: 5 July 2011   Published: 19 August 2011

Abstract

We report the synthesis of amphiphilic hetero-arm molecular brushes (AMBs), which were prepared by a combination of ‘grafting from’ and ‘grafting onto’ methodologies. First, styrene-terminated polyethylene glycol macromonomer (VB-PEG12, ~666 g mol–1) was copolymerized with maleic anhydride (MAnh) to yield a polymer containing hydrophilic PEG chains and reactive (MAnh) groups. Subsequently, the reactive MAnh units in the obtained polymer were modified via a ring-opening reaction using primary alkyl amines, with different alkyl chain lengths, as the nucleophile. In situ ring closure yielded the styrene–maleimide-based AMB. The amphiphilic character of the AMBs was used for their self-assembly in different solvents. The effect of the ratio in hydrophilic to hydrophobic graft length on the morphology of the assemblies was studied using scanning electron microscopy.


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