The synthesis of well-defined linear and non-linear copolymers and terpolymers, materials which exhibit compositional and molecular homogeneity, is considered to be a difficult task when techniques different from anionic polymerization are adopted. Additionally, synthesizing high molecular weight polymers is complicated enough even when anionic polymerization and high vacuum techniques are being used, since very thorough and careful purification of all the reagents used is necessary.
Multiarm star polymers are a unique category of materials with applications in medicine, microelectronics, optics etc., which require the use of novel polymers with improved properties and enhanced performances. The polymers studied will be focused on those exhibiting molecular and compositional homogeneity, thus well-defined model polymeric materials will be described. Many differences in the synthesis procedure as well as in the properties are ascribed when these materials are compared with the corresponding linear structures. The complex architectures exhibit a basic role leading in most cases to unique new potential applications especially in the nano scale. Finally, the effect of the architecture on microphase separation and self-assembly will be studied since major discrepancies and divergences are observed with theoretical models and the corresponding linear structures.
Our main concern is to prepare various types of copolymers and study their properties as well as their structure/properties relation and verify theoretical predictions.
The synthesis and molecular characterization via SEC (Size Exclusion Chromatography), MO (Membrane Osmometry) and LS (Light Scattering) of various architectures and molecular weights will be mainly given. The synthesis of complex architectured polymers was more challenging since different approaches were used depending on the variability of the chains.
Morphological results observed from TEM (Transmission Electron Microscopy) and SAXS (Small-Angle X-Ray Scattering) will be described as well.