University of Florida, Gainesville
Center for Macromolecular Science and Engineering - University of Florida Polymer Science Program


Dr. Charles L. McCormick
Monday, February 6th, 2006  at   2 PM
Leigh Hall, Room 309

Dr. Charles L. McCormick, Bennett Distinguished Research Professor from the University of Southern Mississippi will be presenting his lecture, "Synthesis of Precisely Controlled Stimuli-Responsive Block Copolymers via RAFT: Opportunities for Self-Assembly in Aqueous Media."

Reversible Addition Fragmentation Chain-Transfer (RAFT) polymerization has been the focus of intensive research over the past few years since this methodology allows the synthetic tailoring of macromolecules with complex architectures including block, graft, comb, and star structures with selected molecular weight, terminal functionality, and narrow molecular weight distribution.  This presentation highlights significant milestones in achieving controlled free radical homopolymerization and block-copolymerization of water soluble and amphiphilic monomers including nonionic, cationic, anionic, and zwitterionic species.  It is shown that, under aqueous conditions, control of homopolymerization and further blocking to extend the molecular weight or to produce precisely-structured block copolymers require not only careful selection of reagents (initiator, chain transfer agent, and monomer) but also regulation or elimination of hydrolysis of the w-terminal (thiocarbonylthio) functionality.  The technological potential of such systems is illustrated for the stimuli (pH) reversible micelle formation of amphiphilic block copolymers and for stabilization and stimuli responsive aggregation of gold nanoparticles bearing covalently tethered co(polymers).  Given the advantages of RAFT over other controlled free radical techniques for preparation of water-soluble architectures, it may be anticipated that this technology will be at the forefront of nano- and microscale self assembly in electronics and biotechnology in the near future.

Center for Macromolecular Science and Engineering - University of Florida Polymer Science Program
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