Two-dimensional polymeric nanomaterials through cross-linking of polybutadiene-b-poly(ethylene oxide) monolayers at the air/water interface

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Two-dimensional polymeric nanomaterials consisting of a continuously cross-linked polybutadiene (PB) two-dimensional network with poly(ethylene oxide) (PEO) domains of controlled sizes trapped within the PB network were synthesized. To reach that goal, novel (PB(Si(OEt)3)-b-PEO) 3 star block copolymers were designed by hydrosilylation of the pendant double bonds of (PB-b-PEO)3 star block copolymer precursors with triethoxysilane. The (PB(Si(OEt)3)-b-PEO)3 star block copolymers were characterized by 1H NMR and IR spectroscopy. Self-condensation of the triethoxysilane pendant groups under acidic conditions led to a successful cross-linking of the polybutadiene blocks directly at the air/water interface without any additives or reagents. This strategy was found more efficient than radical cross-linking of (PB-b-PEO)3 with AIBN to get a homogeneously cross-linked monolayer of controlled and fixed morphology as demonstrated by the easy mechanical removal of the cross-linked Langmuir film from the water surface. As shown by AFM imaging, this strategy allows the accurate control of the PEO "pore" size depending on the monolayer surface pressure applied during the cross-linking reaction. The subphase pH and surface pressure influence on the cross-linking kinetics and monolayer morphologies were investigated by Langmuir trough studies (isotherm and isobar experiments) and AFM imaging. © 2007 American Chemical Society.

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