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Metallopolymer-Based Block Copolymers for the Preparation of Porous and Redox-Responsive Materials

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journal contribution
posted on 09.01.2018, 00:00 by Christian Rüttiger, Hanna Hübner, Sebastian Schöttner, Tamara Winter, Gennady Cherkashinin, Björn Kuttich, Bernd Stühn, Markus Gallei
Metallopolymers are a unique class of functional materials because of their redox-mediated optoelectronic and catalytic switching capabilities and, as recently shown, their outstanding structure formation and separation capabilities. Within the present study, (tri)­block copolymers of poly­(isoprene) (PI) and poly­(ferrocenylmethyl methacrylate) having different block compositions and overall molar masses up to 328 kg mol–1 are synthesized by anionic polymerization. The composition and thermal properties of the metallopolymers are investigated by state-of-the-art polymer analytical methods comprising size exclusion chromatography, 1H NMR spectroscopy, differential scanning calorimetry, and thermogravimetric analysis. As a focus of this work, excellent microphase separation of the synthesized (tri)­block copolymers is proven by transmission electron microscopy, scanning electron microcopy, energy-dispersive X-ray spectroscopy, small-angle X-ray scattering measurements showing spherical, cylindrical, and lamellae morphologies. As a highlight, the PI domains are subjected to ozonolysis for selective domain removal while maintaining the block copolymer morphology. In addition, the novel metalloblock copolymers can undergo microphase separation on cellulose-based substrates, again preserving the domain order after ozonolysis. The resulting nanoporous structures reveal an intriguing switching capability after oxidation, which is of interest for controlling the size and polarity of the nanoporous architecture.