Date Approved

2019

Degree Type

Open Access Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)

Department

Chemistry

Committee Member

Gregg Wilmes, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Donald Snyder, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Cory Emal, Ph.D.

Abstract

Amphiphilic diblock copolymers are composed of hydrophilic and hydrophobic regions. When they are exposed to water, the hydrophobic blocks aggregate to form a hydrophobic core surrounded by hydrophilic regions outside to give a core-shell micelle. These micelles have many potential applications, such as a drug delivery system, surfactants, or nanoreactor. Many studies have been done to optimize the performance of these copolymers. In this thesis work, nine dual temperature- and pH-responsive poly(acrylic acid-block-N-isopropylacrylamide) (PAA-b-PNIPAM) diblock copolymers with different relative chain lengths of the hydrophobic and hydrophilic blocks were synthesized by reversible addition fragmentation chain transfer polymerization. The preliminary results showed high conversion values for all products. Proton nuclear magnetic resonance and ultraviolet–visible spectroscopies were used to study the selfassembly of synthesized copolymers in aqueous solution and measure the lower critical solution temperatures. Results clearly showed the occurrence of micellization for all copolymers.

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