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Synthesis of Terpyridine-Terminated Amphiphilic Block Copolymers and Their Self-Assembly into Metallo-Polymer Nanovesicles.


Polystyrene-b-polyethylene glycol (PS-b-PEG) amphiphilic block copolymers featuring a terminal tridentate N,N,N-ligand (terpyridine) were synthesized for the first time through an efficient route. In this approach, telechelic chain-end modified polystyrenes were produced via reversible addition-fragmentation chain-transfer (RAFT) polymerization by using terpyridine trithiocarbonate as the chain-transfer agent, after which the hydrophilic polyethylene glycol (PEG) block was incorporated into the hydrophobic polystyrene (PS) block in high yields via a thiol-ene process. Following metal-coordination with Mn2+, Fe2+, Ni2+, and Zn2+, the resulting metallo-polymers were self-assembled into spherical, vesicular nanostructures, as characterized by dynamic light scattering and transmission electron microscopy (TEM) imaging.

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