An ideal random anionic copolymerization is forced to produce gradient structures by physical separation of two monomers in emulsion compartments. One monomer (M) is preferably soluble in the droplets, while the other one (D) prefers the continuous phase of a DMSO‐in‐cyclohexane emulsion. The living anionic copolymerization of two activated aziridines is thus confined to the DMSO compartments as polymerization occurs selectively in the droplets. Dilution of the continuous phase adjusts the local concentration of monomer D in the droplets and thus the gradient of the resulting copolymer. The copolymerizations in emulsion are monitored by real‐time 1H NMR kinetics, proving a change of the reactivity ratios of the two monomers upon dilution of the continuous phase from ideal random to adjustable gradients by simple dilution.
Rieger, E., Blankenburg, J., Grune, E., Wagner, M., Landfester, K., & Wurm, F. R. (2018). Controlling the Polymer Microstructure in Anionic Polymerization by Compartmentalization. Angewandte Chemie (international edition), 57(9), 2483-2487. https://doi.org/10.1002/anie.201710417