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Size-Controlled Synthesis of Polymeric Nanoparticles (Angew. Chem. Int. Ed.)

Condensation polymerization is an important class of polymerization where monomers bearing two or more reactive end groups joint together. Linear polymers are created when both monomers are with two end groups (A2 + B2), while one or more monomers with more than two end groups (Ax + By, x>2, y≥2) will generate three dimensional polymers which are typically crosslinked. The insolubility of these cross-linked polymers limits the further application in more interesting fields. The processability and device integration have been described as one of the most important advances needed for these polymers in future applications.

 

More details of this piece of work can be found in Angew. Chem. Int. Ed.( http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/anie.201407387/abstract).

 

More details of this piece of work can be found in Angew. Chem. Int. Ed.( http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/anie.201407387/abstract).

 

Very recently, Prof. Aiguo Hu et al. from PSSP group reported a new approach to fabricate soluble conjugated polymer nanoparticles in a size-controlled manner by simply embedding the catalyst (Pd nanoparticles) in size-tuned mesoporous supports. Since the Suzuki-type polycondensations only proceed in the presence of Pd catalyst while the catalysts are confined in the mesochannles of the supports (SS-CNMs), the 3D growth of the polymeric nanoparticle is thus completely controlled by the size of the mesochannels. Large polymeric nanoparticles are produced with catalysts in large pores while small polymeric nanoparticles are produced with catalysts in small pores. The particles sizes are verified through various techniques including GPC, TEM, and DLS. Moreover, small polymeric nanoparticles can easily enter large pores to get their surface further functionalized while the large polymeric nanoparticles cannot be surface functionalized in the presence of Pd catalyst in small pores. This experiment sets unambiguously verified the confined growth nature of the polymeric nanoparticles in mesopores. This simple by elegant approach can be appreciated in the synthesis of other polymeric nanoparticles as long as the polycondensation is a purely catalyzed reaction.

 

This work was supported by NSFC and “Eastern Scholar Professorship” from Shanghai local government.