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Engineering Topochemical Polymerizations Using Block Copolymer Templates

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journal contribution
posted on 24.09.2014 by Liangliang Zhu, Helen Tran, Frederick L. Beyer, Scott D. Walck, Xin Li, Hans Ågren, Kato L. Killops, Luis M. Campos
With the aim to achieve rapid and efficient topochemical polymerizations in the solid state, via solution-based processing of thin films, we report the integration of a diphenyldiacetylene monomer and a poly­(styrene-b-acrylic acid) block copolymer template for the generation of supramolecular architectural photopolymerizable materials. This strategy takes advantage of non-covalent interactions to template a topochemical photopolymerization that yields a polydiphenyldiacetylene (PDPDA) derivative. In thin films, it was found that hierarchical self-assembly of the diacetylene monomers by microphase segregation of the block copolymer template enhances the topochemical photopolymerization, which is complete within a 20 s exposure to UV light. Moreover, UV-active cross-linkable groups were incorporated within the block copolymer template to create micropatterns of PDPDA by photolithography, in the same step as the polymerization reaction. The materials design and processing may find potential uses in the microfabrication of sensors and other important areas that benefit from solution-based processing of flexible conjugated materials.