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Research Zernike (ZIAM) News Seminars

Anton Hofman: An efficient route towards well-defined strong anionic/hydrophobic polymeric materials

When:Tu 22-06-2021 11:30 - 12:00

Polymers that combine both ionic and hydrophobic features are interesting materials for use in various applications, including drug delivery systems, stabilizing agents, lubricants, and underwater adhesives.1,2 In case of a strong polyelectrolyte, where the ionic charge is permanent and insensitive to the environment, realization of an ionic/hydrophobic polymer system remains a challenging task due to its highly amphiphilic character. To overcome this problem, a mild route was developed that allows quantitative conversion of a protected and analyzable hydrophobic precursor into a strong polyanion.3 Depending on the applied chemistry, full deprotection can be achieved under either acidic, basic, or nucleophilic conditions.

Because the precursor can be combined with any other hydrophobic building block, this method enables the preparation of well-defined strong anionic/hydrophobic polymeric materials. As a proof of principle, amphiphilic diblock copolymers were synthesized that readily self-assembled in aqueous solution as evidenced by Dynamic Light Scattering (DLS) and Transmission Electron Microscopy (TEM). Furthermore, this strategy also turned out to be promising for improving the mechanical properties of polyelectrolyte complexes by randomly incorporating hydrophobic segments.

1. A.H. Hofman, I.A. van Hees, J. Yang, M. Kamperman, Adv. Mater., 2018, 30, 1704640

2. I.A. van Hees, A.H. Hofman, M. Dompé, J. van der Gucht, M., Kamperman, Eur. Polym. J., 2020, 141, 110034

3. A.H. Hofman, R. Fokkink, M. Kamperman, Polym. Chem., 2019, 10, 6109