Authors Flemming, P. ; Münch, A. S. ; Fery, A. ; Uhlmann, P.
Title Constrained thermoresponsive polymers - new insights into fundamentals and applications
Date 26.08.2021
Number 59547
Abstract In the last decades, numerous stimuli-responsive polymers have been developed and investigated regarding their switching properties. In particular, thermoresponsive polymers, which form a miscibility gap with the ambient solvent with a lower or upper critical demixing point depending on the temperature, have been intensively studied in solution. For the application of such polymers in novel sensors, drug delivery systems or as multifunctional coatings, they typically have to be transferred into specific arrangements, such as micelles, polymer films or grafted nanoparticles. However, it turns out that the thermodynamic concept for the phase transition of free polymer chains fails, when thermoresponsive polymers are assembled into such sterically confined architectures. Whereas many published studies focus on synthetic aspects as well as individual applications of thermoresponsive polymers, the underlying structure–property relationships governing the thermoresponse of sterically constrained assemblies, are still poorly understood. Furthermore, the clear majority of publications deals with polymers that exhibit a lower critical solution temperature (LCST) behavior, with PNIPAAM as their main representative. In contrast, for polymer arrangements with an upper critical solution temperature (UCST), there is only limited knowledge about preparation, application and precise physical understanding of the phase transition. This review article provides an overview about the current knowledge of thermoresponsive polymers with limited mobility focusing on UCST behavior and the possibilities for influencing their thermoresponsive switching characteristics. It comprises star polymers, micelles as well as polymer chains grafted to flat substrates and particulate inorganic surfaces. The elaboration of the physicochemical interplay between the architecture of the polymer assembly and the resulting thermoresponsive switching behavior will be in the foreground of this consideration.
Publisher Beilstein Journal of Organic Chemistry
Wikidata Q108799791
Citation Beilstein Journal of Organic Chemistry 17 (2021) 2123-2163

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