H. Zhang, N. Hadjichristidis
Macromolecules, 2016, 49 (5), 1590-1596, (2016)
Novel well-defined bilayered molecular cobrushes with internal polyethylene blocks, P(PEcore-b-PScorona) (PE: polyethylene; PS: polystyrene), and ω-hydroxyl-functionalized polyethylene homobrushes, P(PE-OH), were synthesized through the macromonomer strategy. Two main steps were involved in the synthesis of the P(PEcore-b-PScorona) bilayered cobrushes: (i) formation of norbornyl-terminated macromonomer (Nor-PE-b-PS) by esterification of PS-b-PE-OH (combination of anionic polymerization, hydroboration, and polyhomologation) with 5-norbornene-2-carboxylic acid and (ii) ring-opening metathesis polymerization (ROMP) of Nor-PE-b-PS. The synthesis of P(PE-OH) was achieved by (i) hydroboration of tert-butyldimethylsilyl-protected allyl alcohol, followed by polyhomologation of dimethylsulfoxoniun methylide with the formed tri[3-(tert-butyldimethylsilyloxyl)propyl]borane initiator, oxidation/hydrolysis, and esterification of the TBDMS-O-PE-OH with 5-norbornene-2-carboxylic acid to afford the macromonomer TBDMS-O-PE-Nor, and (ii) ROMP of TBDMS-O-PE-Nor, followed by deprotection. Nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy (1H and 13C NMR) and high temperature gel permeation chromatography (HT-GPC) were used to characterize all macromonomers/molecular brushes and differential scanning calorimetry (DSC) to study the thermal properties. The molecular brush P(PE-b-PS) showed lower melting point (Tm) and better solubility in toluene than the corresponding macromonomer PS-b-PE-Nor. In the case of homobrushes, the thermal properties were strongly affected by the presence of the PE end-groups.