Micelle formation induced by photolysis of a poly(tert-butoxystyrene)-block-polystyrene diblock copolymer
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We found the novel photolysis-induced micellization of the poly(tert-butoxystyrene)-block-polystyrene diblock copolymer (PBSt-b-PSt). PBSt-b-PSt with a molecular weight of Mn(PBSt-b-PSt) = 15,000-b-97,000 showed no self-assembly in dichloromethane and existed as isolated copolymers with a hydrodynamic diameter of 16.6 nm. Dynamic light scattering demonstrated that the copolymer produced micelles with a 63.0 nm hydrodynamic diameter when the copolymer solution was irradiated with a high-pressure mercury lamp at room temperature in the presence of bis(alkylphenyl) iodonium hexafluorophosphate, a photoacid generator. The 1H NMR analysis revealed that the micellization resulted from the photolysis of the PBSt blocks into insoluble poly(vinyl phenol) blocks based on the fact that the signal intensity of the tert-butyl protons decreased over time during the irradiation. It was found that the micellization rapidly proceeded as the degree of the photolysis reached over 50% and was completed at 90%.