Synthesis of well-defined linear-bottlebrush-linear triblock copolymer towards architecturally-tunable soft materials

Vahid Asadi, Xuecong Li, Francesco Simone Ruggeri, Han Zuilhof, Jasper van der Gucht, Thomas E. Kodger*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Linear-bottlebrush-linear (LBBL) triblock copolymers are emerging systems for topologically-tunable elastic materials. In this paper, a new synthetic methodology is presented to synthesize LBBL polystyrene-block-bottlebrushpolydimethylsiloxane-block-polystyrene (PS-b-bbPDMS-b-PS) triblock copolymer via the “grafting onto” approach where the precursors are individually synthesized through living anionic polymerization and selective coupling reaction. In this two-step approach, polystyrene-block-polymethylvinylsiloxane (PS-b-PMVS) diblock copolymer with a low dispersity couples with another living PS block to form PS-b-PMVS-b-PS triblock copolymer. Secondly, this is followed by grafting of separately prepared monohydride-terminated PDMS chains with controllable grafting density through a hydrosilylation reaction. In addition to fully tunable architectural parameters, this approach permits a quantitative determination of the ratio of diblock and triblock bottlebrush copolymers and consistency between batches, highlighting the feasibility for scaled-up production. These LBBL triblock copolymers self-assemble into soft, low-modulus thermoplastic elastomers, and the precise knowledge of the composition is crucial for correlating microstructure to mechanical properties.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)4666-4674
JournalPolymer Chemistry
Volume13
Issue number32
Early online date20 Jul 2022
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 28 Aug 2022

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