C. M. Papadakis, P. Müller-Buschbaum, A. Laschewsky
Switch it Inside-out - "Schizophrenic" Behavior of All Thermo-responsive UCST-LCST Diblock Copolymers. Feature Article
Langmuir 2019, 35, 9660-9676
DOI: 10.1021/acs.langmuir.9b01444
We summarize and discuss our recent advancements in the synthesis, the phase behavior and the micellar structures of "doubly smart" block copolymers, which are composed of oppositely thermoresponsive blocks. These copolymers unite blocks that exhibit lower critical solution temperature (LCST) behavior in aqueous media, with blocks that feature an upper critical solution temperature (UCST). The proper design of the polymers\' structure allows for implementing the sequence of the UCST and LCST transitions of the polymers at will. By adjusting either molecular or, alternatively, physical parameters, the relative locations of the transition temperatures of both blocks can be controlled. In this way, different switching scenarios are realized from micelles to inverse micelles, namely via the molecularly dissolved state, the aggregated state or directly. We discuss the possible use of such diblock copolymers, e.g. as "smart" emulsifiers or nanocarriers.
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