Colloid and Polymer Science

, Volume 297, Issue 1, pp 141–153 | Cite as

Polyhedral oligomeric silsesquioxane-capped poly(N-vinyl pyrrolidone) amphiphiles: synthesis, self-assembly, and use as porogen of nanoporous poly(vinylidene fluoride)

  • Yanhao Zhang
  • Bingjie Zhao
  • Lei Li
  • Kangming NieEmail author
  • Sixun ZhengEmail author
Original Contribution


In this contribution, we reported the synthesis of polyhedral oligomeric silsesquioxane (POSS)-capped poly(N-vinyl pyrrolidone) (PVPy) via reversible addition-fragmentation chain transfer/macromolecular design via interchange of xanthate (RAFT/MADIX) polymerization. First, a POSS macromer bearing xanthate moiety was synthesized and was then used as the chain transfer agent to mediate the radical polymerization of N-vinylpyrrolidone (NVP). By controlling the mass ratios of the POSS-CTA to NVP, a series of the POSS-capped PVPy amphiphiles were successfully synthesized with various molecular weights. It was found that in bulks, the POSS-capped PVPy was microphase-separated and the POSS end groups were self-organized into the spherical microdomains with the size of 10~100 nm in diameter. In the solvent selective for PVPy (e.g., water), the POSS-capped PVPy was capable of self-assembling into the spherical micelles with an average diameter of 20~50 nm as evidenced by dynamic laser scattering (DLS) and transmission electron microscopy (TEM). Owing to the amphiphilicity, POSS-capped PVPy also displayed the self-assembly behavior in poly(vinylidene fluoride) (PVDF), in which the POSS cages were aggregated into 10~30 nm microdomains. In the nanocomposites of PVDF with POSS-capped PVPy, the spherical POSS microdomains were readily etched by using hydrofluoric acid, leaving the nanopores in the materials.

Graphical abstract


POSS Poly(N-vinylpyrrolidone) RAFT/MADIX polymerization Self-assembly behavior 



The financial supports from Natural Science Foundation of China (No. 21774078, 51133003 and 21274091) and Anhui Province Key Laboratory of Environment-friendly Polymer Materials were gratefully acknowledged.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Supplementary material

396_2018_4440_MOESM1_ESM.docx (481 kb)
ESM 1 (DOCX 481 kb)


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.College of Chemistry and Chemical EngineeringAnhui UniversityHefeiPeople’s Republic of China
  2. 2.School of Chemistry and Chemical EngineeringShanghai Jiao Tong UniversityShanghaiPeople’s Republic of China

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