Crystalline-core micelles based on triblock terpolymers with polyethylene middle blocks
- This thesis is focused on the crystallization-induced structure formation of polyethylene containing triblock terpolymers in organic solvents to surface-compartmentalized worm-like crystalline-core micelles (wCCMs). Obtaining profound knowledge of the parameters controlling the self-assembly process allowed the production of a variety of complex one-dimensional micellar architectures with many potential applications, such as adaptive surfactants.
At first, the basic parameters that control the crystallization-induced self-assembly were explored using symmetric polystyrene-block-polyethylene-block-poly(methyl methacrylate) (PS-b-PE-b-PMMA) triblock terpolymers and a PS-b-PE-b-PS triblock copolymer. In good solvents for the PE block, e.g. THF and toluene, the selective formation of wCCMs was observed over a wide range of concentration, applied crystallization temperature and polymer composition. Whereas wCCMs produced by PS-b-PE-b-PS showed a homogeneous PS corona, a patch-like compartmentalization of the corona was observed if the micelles were formed by PS-b-PE-b-PMMA. As THF shows equal solvent quality for both corona blocks, wCCMs with almost alternating PS and PMMA compartments of about 15 nm were observed in this solvent. However, if structure formation was conducted in bad solvents for PE, such as dioxane or dimethylacetamide, spherical micelles with amorphous PE cores were formed already before crystallization. Hence, the subsequent crystallization of PE resulted in spherical CCMs with a patchy or a homogeneous corona depending on the used triblock. These findings allow the highly selective production of stable spherical or worm-like CCMs from the same polymer.
As the corona structure of the patchy micelles self-assembled from triblock terpolymers was mainly deduced from transmission electron microscopy (TEM) performed on dried samples, a small-angle neutron scattering (SANS) study was performed in order to elucidate the morphology in solution. Therefore a partly deuterated triblock terpolymer was synthesized and measured at different contrasts to allow the selective detection of the different corona compartments. The resulting SANS curves could be interpreted using a form factor model for core-shell cylinders with alternating PS and PMMA hemishells including interparticle interactions, thus validating the TEM observations. Notably, Janus-type and patchy cylinders can be clearly distinguished using the applied form factor model.
Moreover, the controlled formation of wCCMs with tunable corona composition and structure was achieved using the cocrystallization of different triblock copolymers. Via random cocrystallization of PS-b-PE-b-PMMA and PS-b-PE-b-PS the corona morphology could be tuned continuously from a mixed corona at low PMMA content over spherical PMMA patches of increasing number and size to alternating PS and PMMA patches. This approach allows to manufacture wCCMs with predefined corona structure omitting the need to synthesize a new tailor-made triblock terpolymer for every desired morphology.
By establishing the controlled crystallization-driven self-assembly of triblock terpolymers with PE middle blocks, it was further possible to prepare wCCMs with predefined average lengths up to 500 nm and length polydispersities as low as Lw/Ln = 1.1. Here, self-assembled spherical CCMs of PS-b-PE-b-PS were used as seeds for the controlled growth of PS-b-PE-b-PS unimers. Upon further addition of PS-b-PE-b-PMMA unimers these grew epitaxially onto the preexisting wCCMs, resulting in triblock co-micelles that consisted of middle blocks with a homogeneous PS corona and outer blocks with alternating PS/PMMA compartments. These structures represent not only the first block co-micelles including blocks with a patchy corona, but also the first ones produced from purely organic block copolymers.
In view of application, the ability of patchy wCCMs formed by PS-b-PE-b-PMMA to stabilize interfaces was investigated using pendant-drop tensiometry. The observed reduction of the interfacial tension at the toluene/water interface was significantly higher than that of comparable triblock terpolymer single chains and that of wCCMs with a homogeneous PS corona. Interestingly, the obtained equilibrium interfacial tension equaled that of Janus cylinders with similar dimensions. To explain this unexpected finding the corona chains were proposed to adapt to the interface via selective collapse and shielding of the incompatible part of the corona chains. Studying wCCMs formed by several triblock terpolymers with different compositions, the interfacial activity was found to increase with increasing overall length of the corona chains, and to a certain extent with the molar fraction of PS units in the corona.
Effects of copper on calcium metabolism and detoxification mechanisms in freshwater bivalve species of Anodonta
- Copper (Cu) is one of the metals contaminating European fresh water ecosystems. Filter feeding bivalves have high bioaccumulation potential for transition metals as Cu. While copper is an essential micronutrient for living organisms, it causes serious metabolic and physiological impairments when in excess.
The objectives of this thesis are to get knowledge on toxic effects and detoxification mechanisms of copper in Anodonta cygnea and Anodonta anatina, two mussel species widely distributed in continental waters. Because Ca plays a fundamental role in shell formation and in numerous biological processes, Cu2+ effects on cellular plasma membrane calcium transport were studied first. In the second step, the investigations focused on Cu2+ detoxification mechanism involving cysteine (Cys) rich compounds known to play a major role in homeostasis of essential trace metals and in cellular metal detoxification.
Under our experimental conditions, copper inhibition of Ca2+-ATPase activity was observed in the gills and the kidneys, and inhibition of Na+/K+-ATPase in the gills and the digestive gland (DG) upon 4 d of exposure to 0.35 micro mol/L Cu2+. At day 7 of exposure to environmental Cu2+ concentrations total recoveries was observed in the kidneys and the gills for Ca2+-ATPase activity, and in the DG for Na+/K+-ATPase, but not at high doses. Ca and Na transport inhibition may entail disturbance of osmo-regulation and lead to continuous under-supply of Ca. Recoveries of Na+/K+-ATPase and Ca2+-ATPase enzymes function suggest that metal-detoxification is induced.
Phytochelatins (PC) are Cys-rich oligopeptides synthesised by phytochelatin synthase from glutathione in plants and fungi. Phytochelatin synthase genes have recently been identified in invertebrates; this allows us to hypothesize a role of PC in metal detoxification in animals.
In the second part of this work, PC and their precursors as well as metallothionein were analyzed in the gills and in the DG of Anodonta cygnea exposed to Cu2+. Our results showed for the first time the presence of PC2-4 in invertebrates. PC were detected in control mussels not exposed to metal, suggesting a role in essential metal homeostasis. Compared to control, PC2 induction was observed during the first 12 h of Cu2+ exposure. Those results confirm the role of PC as a first line detoxification mechanism in A. cygnea.
Light Harvesting using Metal-Organic and Organic Sensitizers in Hybrid Solar Cells: Synthesis, Characterisation and Application
- This thesis addresses the question how to improve light harvesting with novel tailor-made metal-organic and organic sensitizers for solid-state hybrid solar cell applications. Two approaches are in the focus: 1) the design and synthesis of sensitizers featuring high extinction coefficients over a broad wavelength range and 2) modern device concepts to further enhance or extend the absorption by the combination of two sensitizers. In short: The primary goal was to broaden and boost the optical density of hybrid solar cells. To reach this, novel sensitizer with extended conjugated π-system providing excellent optical properties had to be designed and synthesised in complex multi-step reaction sequences. For ideal sensitizers, further aspects had to be taken into account such as structural demands, electronic properties, and the tendency towards aggregation.
The first part of this thesis deals with the synthesis, characterisation and application of a series of metal-organic ruthenium(II) donor-antenna complexes. In addition to the typically broad absorption of Ru(II)bis(bipyridyl)(NCS)2 complexes in the blue-green region arising from MLCT, these dyes feature much higher extinction coefficients in comparison to a commercially available reference dye lacking any donor-antenna groups. By the application of these Ru(II) complexes in solid-state dye-sensitized solar cells, we found a clear structure-property relationship. The performance - especially the photocurrent density - was significantly improved with increasing extension of the delocalized system of the donor-antenna groups.
To further boost the optical density in hybrid solar cells sensitized with a donor-antenna ruthenium dye (Ru-TPA-NCS), we developed an innovative and technically relevant concept for multichromophore sensitization involving a second sensitizer (TPD-dye). The latter absorbs in a region where Ru-TPA-NCS absorbs weakly. The solar cells were fabricated according to a novel method developed by us. However, the power conversion efficiencies of multichromophore hybrid blend solar cells were initially low due the weak interconnectivity of the TiO2 particles. This issue was addressed by an optimization of the TiO2:spiro-OMeTAD ratio and the addition of PCBM
A further concept dealing with the combination of two sensitizers in solid-state dye-sensitized solar cell was accomplished by co-sensitization of a triphenyldiamine-based dye (TPD-dye) absorbing in the blue region and squaraine dye (SQ-dye) mainly absorbing the red part of the visible spectrum. In this way, the optical response of the device was extended up to 700 nm. Under optimized conditions, a conversion efficiency of 2.41 % could be reached.
To accomplish the desired panchromaticity or even an extension of the absorption up to the NIR region with a single sensitizer, novel BODIPY dyes with excellent optical properties were designed and synthesised. We prepared BODIPYs with donor-groups to extend the delocalized system and integrated a meso-ethynyl bridge between the BODIPY core and the anchoring group to improve the electronic connection between them. For comparison, we synthesised the corresponding BODIPYs without donor-moieties and without ethynyl bridge. The multi-step synthetic routes were optimized, the mechanism of the donor-attachment was clarified and the introduction of the ethynylphenyl group in the meso-position was accomplished for the first time. The optical characterisation of the compounds disclosed an impressively broad and intensive spectral response, especially for a meso-ethynylphenyl BODIPY with donor-groups. This dye absorbs up to 1030 nm with high extinction coefficients. This makes suitable functionalised BODIPYs promising candidates for solar cell applications.
The next part took advantage of the excellent optical properties of BODIPYs and expanded the topic towards the concept of energy transfer. Here, an unattached energy donor dye provides additional adsorption and transfers the energy to a sensitizing acceptor dye. Indeed, for appropriate combinations an additional contribution to the external quantum efficiency was found in the absorption region of the energy donor dye.
Furthermore, a review chapter covering all aspects of dye-sensitized solar cells and the sensitizers is added as appendix.
In summary, this thesis presents the successful design, synthesis and characterisation of both metal-organic and organic sensitizers including ruthenium complexes, triphenyldiamine-based dyes, a squaraine sensitizer and BODIPY dyes. The sensitizers (either individually or in combination with complementary sensitizers) provide excellent optical properties for the application in solar cells. The applicability of these sensitizers was successfully demonstrated in standard solid-state dye-sensitized solar cells, in newly developed multichromophore hybrid blend solar cells, co-sensitized solar cells and in solid-state dye-sensitized solar cells taking advantage of energy transfer.
Structural analysis of nanoparticles by small angles X-ray scattering
Christophe N. Rochette
- The objective of this work was to analyze nano-scaled particles by the combination of small angle x-ray scattering (SAXS), electron microscopy (TEM and cryo-TEM) and dynamic light scattering (DLS). Two systems with totally di_erent morphologies and compositions have been investigated: spherical particles of calcium-phosphate-protein complexes and hamburgers of semi-crystalline polybutadiene/polyethylene nanoparticles.
The study of the calcium-phosphate-protein complexes consisted in looking for the influence of a protein, Fetuin-A, also called ahsg, onto the calci_cation at early stage. For the purpose, calcium and phosphate ions were mixed with or without the presence of Fetuin-A in a buffr solution of pH=7.4. In a first step, DLS measurements were realized to better appreciate the effect of the total weight percentage of Ca2+ and PO43- ions. These experiments, withtout addition of ahsg, demonstrated that for a lower weight fraction, the particles formed are smaller. Studies with addition of Fetuin-A affected the calcification during the first minute of this process. The early formation of calcium phosphate complexes has been successfully followed by TR-SAXS. A very fast nucleation of nanoparticles within 1 second has been detected. For the first time, the role of the glycoprotein Fetuin-A at the very early stage of calcification has been qualitatively highlighted: ahsg inhibits the aggregation of calcium phosphate particles. Thus, Fetuin-A plays an important role in the fetal serum in the pre-formation of the skeleton of Vertebrates. This study demonstrated that a physiological concentration of this glycoprotein (15 µM) is suffcient to completely inhibit the aggregation of calcium phosphate particles.
Freely suspended nanoparticles of syndiotactic polybutadiene have been studied. By using the combination of cryo-TEM and SAXS, it has been shown that they consist of remarkably thin polymer crystalline lamella. Different models have been compared in order to theoretically fit the experimental SAXS data: homogeneous and heterogeneous (two and three different electron densities within one particle) nanoparticles. The presence of amorphous and crystalline polybutadiene has been demonstrated by the X-ray diffraction. The necessity of using an additional layer of SDS for the modeling is explained by the abundancy of SDS added after the synthesis of the polybutadiene particles (weight ratio ca. 1:1) and by the modeling of the SAXS theoretical intensities which were not sufficient without taking into account the presence of SDS. After the formation of semi-crystalline nanoparticles of PE, these new nanoparticles open a new route to the synthesis of nanopolymers of interesting physico-chemical properties such as semi-conductors or photovoltaic compounds.
Finally, in contrast to recent literature on bulk polyethylene (PE), this thesis investigated freely suspended nanoparticles of PE. As suggested by Weber and coworkers, the combination of SAXS and cryo-TEM has been used for this study. The structure of individual PE nanocrystals has been determined in detail and an improved model of the form factor (SAXS) has been developped in close collaboration with Priv.-Doz. Dr. Ludger Harnau. The second part of this thesis mainly deals with the annealing of these PE particles. For the first time, it is shown that the effect of the annealing process results in a doubling of the crystalline layer of the PE nanoparticles. This behaviour could be traced back to the unlooping of the PE chains. In addition, a linear relationship between the reciprocal of the crystalline layer and the annealing temperature has been experimentally drawn. This line was predicted by the Gibbs-Thomson equation according to the literature. This result is important because it allows controlling the crystalline thickness and physical properties of the system, by the temperature.
Polyelectrolyte Coatings with Internal Hierarchy
- The results presented in this thesis are focused on the surface modification by polyelectrolytes and polyelectrolyte copolymers. The internal structural hierarchy originate thereby from the self-assembly processes at different length scales. To generate different levels of hierarchy, the coatings were constructed by using either the layer-by-layer (LbL) deposition method (lateral chemical structure), the adsorption of supramolecular aggregates (lateral topographycal structure), or the combination of both. Using these techniques, one can control the properties of the coatings by varying the chemical structure of the polyelectrolytes, for instance, their charge density, thus providing a convenient way for their functionalization and the ability to tune properties of the surface. Therefore, we were working with systems which have variable charge densities. With this approach, we were able to produce thin and ultrathin nanostructured films with tunable properties and functionality.
Synthesis and Combinatorial Optimization of Novel Star-Shaped Resist Materials for Lithographic Applications
- Gordon Earle Moore predicted in the mid-1960s the cost-efficient doubling of transistors’ number on integrated circuits every two years – known as Moore’s Law. Leading companies orientates by the development of integrated circuits on this Moore’s Law and contributed to this prediction to come true up to the present. In so doing, the semiconductor industry drafts every two years aims to fulfill this prediction summarized in the so-called International Technology Roadmap for Semiconductors (ITRS). The ITRS lists guidelines for cost-effective progresses in performance of integrated circuits, e.g. design of integrated circuits, advancements of exposure tools and exposure techniques, and closely correlated resist materials. This thesis deals with the development of new resist materials and their combinatorial investigation concerning the performance in lithographic patterning.
The lithographic patterning procedure is a sequence of multiple processing steps and thus this procedure involves many processing variables interacting strongly with each other. For understanding and comprehensive investigation of such multi-variable dependent systems the development and implementation of combinatorial approaches were in the focus of this thesis. Furthermore this thesis is focused on the synthesis of new tailored resist materials for lithographic patterning. Star topology was the selected polymer architecture of this new resist material realized via the core-first atom transfer radical polymerization (ATRP) technique. The lithographic performance of electron beam lithography patterning was investigated for the resulting randomly distributed star terpolymers and star block copolymers by combinatorial libraries in view of features’ quality.
The first chapter deals with developed, adapted, and improved combinatorial techniques for thin film investigations in general and utilized for lithographic patterning investigations in particular. The lithographic patterning procedure of chemically amplified resist systems consists of various steps: film preparation, post apply bake (PAB) to remove residual solvent, exposure, post exposure bake (PEB) to activate the catalytic reaction, and development. For this rather complex process variable gradients were developed and adapted for each processing step to investigate and optimize the performance of especially new resist systems. For the film preparation a method was developed to prepare an internal material composition gradient. This was realized by a gradient extrudate prepared using two individual controllable syringe pumps and subsequent doctor-blading. The material composition gradient was verified by high performance liquid chromatography. The second (PAB) and also the fourth (PEB) processing step are both annealing processes of the resist film although they serve different purposes. For the investigation of such annealing processes temperature gradients were prepared adjustable in temperature range and temperature slope. This adjustability is ensured by the active heating and the active cooling source and also by the gap and the type of metal plate. For the third step exposure methods were developed to realize defined exposure dose gradients in very small areas of the resist film. Different exposure dose gradients were designed for photolithography as well as for electron beam lithography. For the latter case this dose gradient was programmed in the pattern design using the software which controls the electron beam during the exposure process. The dose gradient for photolithography investigations was realized by a special designed shadow mask. For the last processing step development a preliminary screening of the dissolubility conditions of the resist film was established utilizing quartz crystal microbalances. Based on this measured dissolubility behavior the time frame was set for development time gradients performed by a stepwise or continuously immersion of the resist films. Lastly two to three variable gradients were combined to binary or ternary combinatorial libraries, respectively. The ternary combinatorial libraries allow the investigation of three variables of the lithographic patterning process in one experiment. Thus it is possible to optimize a resist material system fast and efficiently in respect to resist performance.
In the second chapter a star-shaped teroligomer is reported as new high potential resist type for lithographic patterning purposes. The polymerization was carried out via the core-first ATRP route using a functionalized saccharose with eight initiating sites as core. Four star-shaped teroligomers were synthesized with varying target arm lengths. In addition a saccharose molecule was synthesized with an average number of 3.5 initiating sites and thus a star oligomer was realized with a reduced arm number but an identical core and similar arm length. As reference resist material a linear model oligomer was synthesized using ethyl 2-bromoisobutyrate as initiator. For all polymers narrow monomodal distributions were detected with polydispersity index values of lower than 1.1. Based on calibration polymerizations runs the monomer feed of the three used monomers was adapted to achieve targeted monomer incorporations for all teroligomers. The targeted monomer incorporation was copied from a currently industrially used linear teroligomer. One star oligomer was selected as proof of principle for the utilization of the star architecture for lithographic purposes. This new resist material was combinatorial investigated in a ternary library and thus optimized in one experiment concerning exposure dose, PEB temperature, and development time. The optimized patterns with a feature size of 100 nm and an excellent line edge roughness (LER) value of 3.1 nm were observed.
The last chapter of this thesis demonstrates the straight forward advancement of the star-shaped resist material reported in chapter two. The statistical monomer incorporation was exchanged by the introduction of the tailored star block copolymer architecture. This architecture was synthesized for the first time via the core-first ATRP route by full conversion of a first polar monomer and in-situ polymerization of additionally added nonpolar monomer. The successful syntheses were indicated by contact angle measurements showing increased hydrophobicity of star block copolymers in contrast to random star copolymers with the same monomer incorporation. The star block copolymers exhibited also enhanced dissolubility behavior characterized by quartz crystal microbalance measurements. Furthermore they demonstrated an up to eight times increased sensitivity at their lithographic application in contrast to the synthesized reference linear copolymer. The most promising star block copolymer was selected to investigate its lithographic performance. The optimization was performed in a ternary combinatorial library based on the gradient variables exposure dose and feature size, PEB temperature, and development time. The optimized pattern of clear lines and a feature size of 66 nm was observed with a LER value of 6 nm.
To conclude, different tailored star-shaped terpolymers were synthesized using the ATRP core-first route and successfully applied in the lithographic patterning process for the first time. In addition the combinatorial optimization offers the absolutely promising potential of utilizing these star shaped resist materials by the demonstrated brilliant LER values, the achieved extremely high sensitivity, and the fast and efficient development of clear 66 nm lines.
Monte Carlo Simulation Methods for Studying the Thermodynamics of Ligand Binding & Transfer Processes in Biomolecules
R. Thomas Ullmann
- The binding and transfer of ligands is of central
importance for the function of many biomolecular
systems. The main topic of this thesis is the
development and application of Monte Carlo (MC)
simulation methods for studying complex ligand
binding equilibria which can also involve
conformational changes. The simulated systems
were described by microstates within a continuum
electrostatics/molecular mechanics (CE/MM) model
of the receptor-ligand system. The CE/MM modeling
methodology was improved. The improvements led to
more detailed molecular models that enable a more
realistic reproduction of system properties and
environmental conditions. The developed simulation
methods were applied to biomolecular systems whose
function involves aspects that are important for
the understanding of bioenergetic energy
transduction. The results of this thesis are
presented in five articles that are published in
peer reviewed scientific journals.
Manuscript A presents the Monte Carlo simulation
software GMCT which was largely developed in this
thesis. The software offers a variety of different
simulation methods that allow the user to harness
the full potential of CE/MM models in the simulation
of complex receptor systems.
Manuscript B presents a novel theoretical framework
for free energy calculations with the free energy
perturbation method. The novel framework is more
broadly applicable and can lead to more efficient
simulations than previous formulations. The
derivation of the formalism also led to interesting
insights into general statistical mechanics. The
formalism was implemented in GMCT and could already
be used fruitfully for the free energy calculations
presented in Manuscripts C and D.
Manuscript C demonstrates the application of free
energy measures of cooperativity to study the
coupling of protonation, reduction and conformational
change in azurin from Pseudomonas aeruginosa (PaAz).
Such a coupling is prototypic for bioenergetic systems
because it forms the thermodynamic basis of their
energy transducing function. PaAz is an experimentally
well characterized, small electron transport protein.
For this reason, PaAz was used here as model system
to demonstrate the usefulness of cooperativity free
energies in detecting and quantifying thermodynamic
coupling between events in complex biomolecular
systems. The results of this study led to new insight
that could help to determine the still enigmatic
physiological role of PaAz.
In Manuscript D, free energy calculations were
applied to study the thermodynamics of transport
through the ammonium transporter Amt-1 from
Archaeoglobus fulgidus (AfAmt-1). Ammonium is the most
directly utilizable nitrogen source for plants and
microorganisms. AfAmt-1 and its homologues facilitate
the transport of ammonia/ammonium across biological
membranes in living beings from all domains of life.
It is intensely debated how these proteins perform
their function and whether ammonia or its protonated
form ammonium is actually transported. The study
extended upon previous theoretical studies by
including the effects of substrate concentration,
electrochemical transmembrane gradients,
proton-coupled binding equilibria and competitive
binding of different ligand species. It was found
that the transported species is most likely the
ammonium ion. An ammonia/proton symport mechanism
that involves a pair of coplanar histidine residues
at the center of the transmembrane pore as transient
proton acceptor is made plausible by the high
genetic conservation of these residues.
Manuscript E presents a first application of the
microstate description within a CE/MM model to the
simulation of the non-equilibrium dynamics of a
molecular system. We simulated the re-reduction
kinetics of the primary electron donor in the
photocycle of the bacterial photosynthetic reaction
center from Blastochloris viridis. The simulation
results are in very good agreement with
experimentally measured data.
Smart Hydrogels based on Responsive Star-Block Copolymers
- The work presented in this thesis is focused on the synthesis of double-responsive star-shaped block copolymers and their formation of smart hydrogels in response to different external stimuli, specifically temperature and pH. Our concept was based on (AB)x diblock copolymer stars where both blocks are responsive to temperature and pH. This approach led to physically crosslinked hydrogels, which could form/disintegrate in response to a first trigger, i.e. the outer B blocks are alternating between hydrophilic and hydrophobic. The mechanical properties of the gels could still be manipulated by a second, independent trigger, i.e. upon applying the second trigger, the inner A blocks contract, leading to a change in mechanical properties.
The first part deals with the synthesis and characterization of linear and star-shaped poly((2 diethylamino)ethyl methacrylate) (PDEA) to investigate its double-responsive behavior and its potential for the design of double-responsive gelators. This polymer responds to variations in both pH and temperature, just like the analogous poly((2 dimethylamino)ethyl methacrylate) (PDMA). At a given temperature PDEA exhibits a critical pH value above which the chains collapse and aggregation takes place. The temperature-responsive behavior of PDEA does not depend on molecular weight or architecture, i.e. arm number. However, the cloud point does strongly depend on pH, as it affects the overall charge of the star.
For the second part we combined PDMA and PDEA to create double-responsive star-shaped block copolymers (DMA-DEA)x where both blocks are responsive to pH and temperature. The collapse of the PDEA outer blocks is first selectively triggered by heating. This has been proven by dynamic light scattering and is due to the significantly lower cloud point of PDEA with respect to that of PDMA at identical pH. The gelation behavior was investigated in dependence on block length and arm number. At high concentrations hydrogel formation was observed under conditions where only the PDEA outer blocks are insoluble. Rheology measurements showed that a minimum DEA fraction is necessary for gel formation and that the DEA fraction strongly influences the properties of the gels. Another factor controlling the gelation behavior of the diblock copolymer stars is the pH value, as the sol-gel transition temperature at a given concentration is shifted to lower values upon increasing the pH. The mechanical properties of some gel can be manipulated, as a decrease in the storage modulus was only observed for soft gels, if the temperature is increased above the transition temperature of the inner PDMA block, i.e. when the PDMA blocks contract. Thus, we successfully created double-responsive star-shaped gelators which formed reversible hydrogels that were still able to respond to a second trigger. However, the aggregation and hydrogel formation turned to out to be quite complex, due to the high number of parameters controlling them.
Finally, our concept was extended to other polymers and simplified by changing the outer block of the block copolymer stars to a polymer that is only responsive to temperature. This allows for an easier tuning of the sol-gel transition, as only one parameter is involved. The new diblock stars are comprised of PDMA inner blocks and outer blocks of poly(diethylene glycol methyl ether methacrylate) (PDEGMA), which can be triggered independently of each other as confirmed by turbidimetry and dynamic light scattering. They form hydrogels at relatively low concentrations upon heating above the transition temperature of PDEGMA independent of the pH value. The fraction of DEGMA is an important parameter for the gelation behavior of the (DMA-DEGMA)x stars, the same as the DEA fraction was for the (DMA-DEA)x stars. Unexpectedly, the mechanical properties of these gels can also not be changed by heating above the transition temperature of PDMA at pH values around 8. The gels formed in this pH region are strong and too rigid to be affected, similar to strong gels formed from (DMA-DEA)x stars. Only when the pH is increased close to 9 and the subsequently formed gels are softer, a decrease in the moduli is observed.
We also quaternized the inner PDMA blocks of the (DMA-DEGMA)x stars to transform them it into strong polycations. This leads to an increase in the effective volume fraction of the stars and consequently to a significant decrease of the critical gelation concentration. The quaternization opens our concept up to the introduction of light sensitivity through multivalent counterions and the incorporation of nanoparticles.
Novel Group 4 Metal Amido Complexes - syntheses, reactivity and olefin polymerization catalysis
- A series of amine functionalized electron rich aminopyridinato ligands was synthesized by the methodology developed by Fort and coworkers and subsequent Ulmann thermal amination. In addition to this some tripodal ligands containing nitrogen donor functionalities were also synthesized. The corresponding titanium and hafnium complexes of these ligands were synthesized using the amine / diethyl-ammonium chloride / toluene elimination and salt metathesis routes. These compl-exes were characterized by NMR and elemental analysis. Many of these complexes have been studied on the basis of structure and their catalytic potential was investigated. The overall evaluation of this work tells about the electrophilicity of the metal centre and the steric and electronic effects of the ligand.
Mono Ap di / trichloride complexes of titanium were synthesized by amine / diethyl-ammonium chloride elimination and salt metathesis routes by reacting the corresponding ligand with diethylamido titanium trichloride or titanium tetrachloride respectively. The structural investigation of these complexes gives insight into the more electron donating capability of the aminopyridinato ligands. These complexes were found moderatly active for ethylene and styrene polymerization when activated with d-MAO giving syndiotactic polystyrene of high molecular weight and aluminum terminated polyethylene. The low activity of these complexes was attributed to the ligand transfer to aluminum during catalysis.
Mono Ap trialkyl hafnium complexes were synthesized by reacting the respective aminopyridinato ligand with tetrabenzyl hafnium at room temperature. Some of these complexes were studied by single crystal X- ray analysis. These complexes have shown very low activity towards ethylene polymerization when activated with d-MAO probably due to very fast ligand transfer to aluminum. The low temperature NMR investigations of these complexes indicate the η3-coordination of one benzyl with hafnium metal centre.
To overcome the problem of ligand transfer during catalysis, we synthesized the tri-podal ligands containing nitrogen donors either by Pd2(DBA)3 / DPPP catalysed cross coupling reactions or by Ni(o) / 2, 2 -bipyridine catalyst system followed by thermal amination. The titanium trichloride complexes of these ligands were synthesized by reacting the respective tripodal ligand with [Et2NTiCl3] at room temperature. The titanium complexes containing tripodal ligands were found less active towards ethyl-ene polymerization.
Template-Directed Synthesis of One-Dimensional Hybrid Nanostructures from Cylindrical Polymer Brushes
- The thesis deals with the study of cylindrical polymer brushes (CPBs) and their use in template chemistry. Herein, we developed template-directed syntheses of one-dimensional (1D) hybrid nanostructures in which CPBs served as 1D soft templates. So called ‘molecular’ core-shell or core-shell-corona CPBs, as well as CPBs obtained through microphase separation of diblock copolymers, were applied as templates for the preparation of various types of 1D organic-inorganic hybrid nanomaterials. Well-defined molecular core-shell and core-shell-corona CPBs with a narrow molecular weight distribution in both the backbone and the side chains have been synthesized via the combination of several polymerization techniques. Anionic polymerization has enabled the precise synthesis of polymer backbones, whereas atom transfer radical polymerization and ring-opening polymerization have allowed the sequential growth of side chains via the ‘grafting-from’ approach. Depending upon the desired functional 1D hybrid nanostructures, different combinations of core, shell and corona have been chosen. Core-shell-corona CPBs with a poly(tert-butyl acrylate) (PtBA) core, a poly(3-acryloylpropyl trimethoxysilane) (PAPTS) shell and a poly[oligo (ethylene glycol) methyl ether methacrylate] (POEGMA) corona were hydrolyzed by aqueous ammonia to produce water-soluble organo-silica hybrid nanotubes. As the trimethoxysilyl group was directly incorporated into the structure of the CPBs, we avoided the addition of an external inorganic precursor. Amphiphilic core-shell-corona CPBs with a hydrophobic poly(ε-caprolactone) (PCL) core, a hydrophilic poly(2-(dimethylamino)ethyl methacrylate) (PDMAEMA) shell and a hydrophilic POEGMA corona were used as 1D templates and nanoreactors for the fabrication of titania dioxide (TiO2) semiconductor nanotubes. The cationic PDMAEMA shell was loaded with a negatively charged titania precursor, namely titanium(IV) bis(ammonium lactate) dihydroxide (TALH). TALH underwent hydrolysis within the CPB shell upon heating above 70 °C. Accordingly, crystalline (that is, anatase) TiO2 hybrid nanotubes with a very well defined thickness were obtained. Subsequently, the diameter of the hybrid nanotubes was adjusted by modifying the side chain length of the PDMAEMA shell. Amphiphilic core-shell CPBs with a hydrophobic PCL core and a hydrophilic PDMAEMA shell were employed for the fabrication of silica nanotubes with different aspect ratios. Tetramethyl orthosilicate (TMOS) was used for the deposition of silica into the PDMAEMA shell. Several polymers with different dimensions, with respect to length as well as core and shell diameter, were synthesized and used as templates for the fabrication 1D silica nanostructures. Furthermore, silica nanotubes were obtained after acid treatment or calcination, and catalytically active porous nanomaterials were produced via the embedment of metal nanoparticles within the silica shell. All the hybrid nanotubes templated by molecular core-shell and core-shell-corona CPBs were uniform in length as well as diameter, due to the narrow molecular weight distribution of the CPB backbone and side chains. Moreover, the POEGMA corona in the core-shell-corona CPBs served as a shielding layer and protected the nanotubes from agglomeration and intermolecular crosslinking during the hybrid formation. Additionally, POEGMA rendered the hybrid nanomaterials soluble in various solvents, including water. Water-soluble core-shell CPBs were obtained from microphase separated cast films of polystyrene-b-poly(allyl methacrylate) (PS-PAMA) diblock copolymers. After UV-crosslinking of the cylindrical PAMA domains, CPBs with a PS shell and a crosslinked PAMA core were obtained. Subsequent sulfonation rendered the PS shell into poly(styrenesulfonic acid) and thereby made it water-soluble. The negatively charged brush templates were infiltrated with oppositely charged TiO2 nanocrystals to produce crystalline TiO2 hybrid nanowires. Further, it was possible to adjust the crystal structure of the nanostructures to either a rutile or anatase structure. The presented novel 1D hybrid nanomaterials based on CPBs have many potential applications due to their electronic, catalytic and semiconducting properties.