, Volume 283, Issue 5, pp 521-531
Date: 04 Aug 2004

Preparation of micelles with azobenzene at their coronas or cores from ‘nonamphiphilic’ diblock copolymers

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Abstract

Micelles with azobenzene at the coronas or the cores were prepared by the micellization of ‘nonamphiphilic’ diblock copolymers through hydrogen bond cross-linking. We used 4-(phenylazophenoxymethyl)styrene (AS) as the azobenzene. A poly(vinylphenol)-block-poly(AS-co-styrene) diblock copolymer (PVPh-b-P(AS-co-St)) was prepared by combination of the nitroxide-mediated living radical polymerization and the hydrolysis. The copolymer contained ca. 1 mol% of the azobenzene units in the P(AS-co-St) blocks on the basis of 1H NMR analysis. The PVPh-b-P(AS-co-St) copolymer showed no micellization in 1,4-dioxane, the nonselective solvent. Dynamic light scattering demonstrated that the copolymer formed micelles in the presence of 1,4-butanediamine (BDA) in this solvent. 1H NMR analysis revealed that the azobenzene moieties were located at the coronas of the micelles, because the signals of the aromatic protons originating from the azobenzene had no changes in the shape and the intensity by the micellization. UV analysis supported the presence of the azobenzene at the micellar coronas. The size of the PVPh-b-P(AS-co-St) micelles was independent of the copolymer concentration. On the other hand, the aggregation number of the micelles was dependent not only on the copolymer concentration but also on the kind of the diamine. A poly(AS-co-vinylphenol)-block-polystyrene diblock copolymer (P(AS-co-VPh)-b-PSt) formed the micelles with the azobenzene at the cores of the micelles by BDA. UV analysis demonstrated that the azobenzene at the micellar cores still had the potential to function as photorefractive switching.