Trithiocarbonate-Mediated RAFT Polymerization Enables the Synthesis of Homotelechelic N-Vinylpyrrolidone Oligomers with Surfactant Properties

Adèle Gapin, Frederik R. Wurm*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

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Abstract

Poly(N-vinylpyrrolidone) (PVP) is a well-known biocompatible polymer widely used in cosmetics, pharmaceuticals, and many other applications and is usually synthesized via radical polymerization. High molar mass PVP lacks biodegradability according to the OECD 301 F standard and can lead to permanent accumulation within the body or in the environment. Nowadays, lower molar mass PVP is produced via xanthate-mediated reversible addition-fragmentation chain-transfer (RAFT) polymerization. However, this type of polymerization also leads to a large amount of undesired dimer formation. Herein, various homotelechelic PVP oligomers were prepared via a trithiocarbonate-mediated RAFT polymerization with the production of a minimal amount of unsaturated dimer. These PVP oligomers showed similar surfactant properties as the well-known Lutensol AT50 surfactant, and they were used as a nonionic surfactant in a typical radical aqueous miniemulsion polymerization of methyl methacrylate (MMA) to produce well-defined PMMA nanoparticles. Additionally, PVP oligomers showed no toxicity to the bacterial strain Escherichia coli and to the water fleas Daphnia pulex, which is promising for safe release in wastewater systems.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)6863-6870
Number of pages8
JournalACS Applied Polymer Materials
Volume4
Issue number10
Early online date9 Sept 2022
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 14 Oct 2022

Keywords

  • Homotelechelic
  • Oligomer
  • Poly(N-vinylpyrrolidone)
  • Surfactant
  • Trithiocarbonate
  • UT-Hybrid-D

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