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Solution behavior of linear-dendritic rod diblock copolymers in methanol.

  • Santini, Catherine M B
  • Hatton, T Alan
  • Hammond, Paula T
Published Article
Langmuir : the ACS journal of surfaces and colloids
Publication Date
Aug 29, 2006
PMID: 16922525


The solution behavior of spherical dendrimers as well as hybrid-linear dendritic diblock copolymers has been extensively studied, and the size, shape, and ability of these polymers to encapsulate small molecules have led to their comparison with traditional micelles. We have recently reported the synthesis of a new dendritic copolymer architecture, the linear-dendritic rod diblock copolymer, and in this work, we examine the solution behavior of these unique polymers in methanol at 25 degrees C, using dynamic light scattering and intrinsic viscosity measurements. The diblock copolymers consist of a linear poly(ethylene oxide)-poly(ethylene imine) diblock copolymer backbone around which poly(amido amine) branches have been divergently synthesized from the poly(ethylene imine) block. The hydrodynamic radii and the viscometric radii of the polymers were found to increase slowly with increasing generation up to generation 3.5; however, after generation 3.5, the radii were found to increase very rapidly. This increase can be explained by an elongation of the dendritic block into a more rodlike configuration and a corresponding breakdown of the spherical approximation used to calculate the radii. The intrinsic viscosity of the amine and ester terminated polymers was found to follow two very different trends at low generation; however, at higher generations, they followed similar, yet slightly different, curves with the values for the amine terminated polymers only a little larger than those of the ester terminated polymers. At low generations, the chemistry of the end groups and its interaction with the solvent were found to be more important, whereas at higher generations, the highly branched nature of the dendritic block was the more important factor. For the ester terminated polymers, a maximum in the intrinsic viscosity occurred at generation 1.5. Since this maximum occurred at a much lower generation number than is traditionally seen for spherical dendrimers, new scaling relations for the intrinsic viscosity of dendritic rod polymers were developed and were found to support this observation. A minimum in the intrinsic viscosity was also observed at generation 3.5 for the ester terminated polymers and a minimum or leveling off in the intrinsic viscosity at generation 4.0 was found for the amine terminated polymers, which can be attributed to the transitioning of the polymers to a more elongated, rodlike shape and the increased influence of the shape factor on the intrinsic viscosity.

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