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Reversible Cross-Linking of Polyisoprene Coronas in Micelles, Block Comicelles, and Hierarchical Micelle Architectures Using Pt(0)–Olefin Coordination

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journal contribution
posted on 22.02.2016, 18:52 by Paul A. Rupar, Graeme Cambridge, Mitchell A. Winnik, Ian Manners
Previous work has established that polyisoprene (PI) coronas in cylindrical block copolymer micelles with a poly(ferrocenyldimethylsilane) (PFS) core can be irreversibly cross-linked by hydrosilylation using (HSiMe2)2O in the presence of Karstedt’s catalyst. We now show that treatment of cylindrical PI-b-PFS micelles with Karstedt’s catalyst alone, in the absence of any silanes, leads to PI coronal cross-linking through Pt(0)–olefin coordination. The cross-linking can be reversed through the addition of 2-bis(diphenylphosphino)ethane (dppe), a strong bidentate ligand, which removes the platinum from the PI to form Pt(dppe)2. The Pt(0) cross-linking of PI was studied with self-assembled cylindrical PI-b-PFS block copolymer micelles, where the cross-linking was found to dramatically increase the stability of the micellar structures. The Pt(0)–alkene coordination-induced cross-linking can be used to provide transmission electron microscopy contrast between PI and poly(dimethylsiloxane) (PDMS) corona domains in block comicelles as the process selectively increases the electron density of the PI regions. Moreover, following the assembly of a hierarchical scarf-shaped comicelle consisting of a PFS-b-PDMS platelet template with PI-b-PFS tassels, Pt(0)-induced cross-linking of the PI coronal regions allowed for the selective removal of the PFS-b-PDMS center, leaving behind an unprecedented hollowed-out scarf structure. The addition of Karstedt’s catalyst to PI or polybutadiene homopolymer toluene/xylene solutions resulted in the formation of polymer gels which underwent de-gelation upon the addition of dppe.