Sequence-controlled methacrylic multiblock copolymers via sulfur-free RAFT emulsion polymerization

Nikolaos G. Engelis, Athina Anastasaki, Gabit Nurumbetov, Nghia P Truong, Vasiliki Nikolaou, Ataulla Shegiwal, Michael R Whittaker, Thomas Davis, David M Haddleton

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148 Citations (Scopus)


Translating the precise monomer sequence control achieved in nature over macromolecular structure (for example, DNA) to whole synthetic systems has been limited due to the lack of efficient synthetic methodologies. So far, chemists have only been able to synthesize monomer sequence-controlled macromolecules by means of complex, time-consuming and iterative chemical strategies such as solid-state Merrifield-type approaches or molecularly dissolved solution-phase systems. Here, we report a rapid and quantitative synthesis of sequence-controlled multiblock polymers in discrete stable nanoscale compartments via an emulsion polymerization approach in which a vinyl-terminated macromolecule is used as an efficient chain-transfer agent. This approach is environmentally friendly, fully translatable to industry and thus represents a significant advance in the development of complex macromolecule synthesis, where a high level of molecular precision or monomer sequence control confers potential for molecular targeting, recognition and biocatalysis, as well as molecular information storage.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)171-178
Number of pages8
JournalNature Chemistry
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1 Feb 2017

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