Precise Control of Both Dispersity and Molecular Weight Distribution Shape by Polymer Blending

Richard Whitfield, Nghia P. Truong, Athina Anastasaki

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

49 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

The breadth and the shape of molecular weight distributions can significantly influence fundamental polymer properties that are critical for various applications. However, current approaches require the extensive synthesis of multiple polymers, are limited in dispersity precision and are typically incapable of simultaneously controlling both the dispersity and the shape of molecular weight distributions. Here we report a simplified approach, whereby on mixing two polymers (one of high Đ and one of low Đ), any intermediate dispersity value can be obtained (e.g. from 1.08 to 1.84). Unrivalled precision is achieved, with dispersity values obtained to even the nearest 0.01 (e.g. 1.37→1.38→1.39→1.40→1.41→1.42→1.43→1.44→1.45), while maintaining fairly monomodal molecular weight distributions. This approach was also employed to control the shape of molecular weight distributions and to obtain diblock copolymers with high dispersity accuracy. The straightforward nature of our methodology alongside its compatibility with a wide range of polymerisation protocols (e.g. ATRP, RAFT), significantly expands the toolbox of tailored polymeric materials and makes them accessible to all researchers.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)19383-19388
Number of pages6
JournalAngewandte Chemie - International Edition
Volume60
Issue number35
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 23 Aug 2021
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • block copolymers
  • dispersity
  • molecular weight distribution shape
  • polymer blending

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