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Effect of the pH on the RAFT Polymerization of Acrylic Acid in Water. Application to the Synthesis of Poly(acrylic acid)-Stabilized Polystyrene Particles by RAFT Emulsion Polymerization

Abstract : The reversible addition-fragmentation chain transfer (RAFT) polymerization of acrylic acid (AA) in water was studied in detail at different pHs using 4-cyano-4-thiothiopropylsulfanyl pentanoic add (CTPPA) as a control agent and 4,4'-azobis(4-cyanopentanoic acid) (ACPA) as an initiator. Well-defined hydrophilic macromolecular RAFT agents (PAA-CTPPA) were obtained and further used directly in water for the polymerization of styrene. The corresponding polymerization-induced self-assembly (PISA) process was evaluated at different pHs and it was shown that working in acidic conditions (pH = 2.5) led to well-defined amphiphilic block copolymer particles (D < 1.4) of small size (below 50 nm). When the pH increased, the control over the growth of the polystyrene (PS) block was gradually lost. Chain extension experiments of PAA-CTPPA with N-acryloylmorpholine (NAM), a hydrosoluble and non-pH sensitive monomer, performed at different pHs showed that the very first addition-fragmentation steps that occurred in water were impeded when PAA was ionized leading to partial consumption of PAA-CTPPA and thus to PS molar masses higher than expected. Varying the PAA-CTPPA concentration at pH = 2.5 led in all cases to stable particles composed of well-defined block copolymers with PS segments of different molar masses.
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https://hal.archives-ouvertes.fr/hal-00868190
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Submitted on : Tuesday, October 26, 2021 - 11:17:04 AM
Last modification on : Friday, October 29, 2021 - 5:32:02 PM

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Isabelle Chaduc, Agnès Crépet, Olivier Boyron, Bernadette Charleux, Franck d'Agosto, et al.. Effect of the pH on the RAFT Polymerization of Acrylic Acid in Water. Application to the Synthesis of Poly(acrylic acid)-Stabilized Polystyrene Particles by RAFT Emulsion Polymerization. Macromolecules, American Chemical Society, 2013, 46 (15), pp.6013-6023. ⟨10.1021/ma401070k⟩. ⟨hal-00868190⟩

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