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Combination of Episulfide Ring-Opening Polymerization With ATRP for the Preparation of Amphiphilic Block Copolymers



We report for the first time the combination of ATRP and ring-opening episulfide polymerization as a means to synthesize polysulfide-based low-dispersity amphiphilic block copolymers. The most significant finding is the possibility to perform ATRP under mild conditions using poly(propylene sulfide) macroinitiators, apparently without any significant copper sequestration by the polysulfides. Using glycerol monomethacrylate (GMMA) as a hydrophilic monomer, the polymers self-assembled in colloidal structures with a morphology depending on the PS/GMMA ratio, but also probably on GMMA degree of polymerization. We here also present a new AFM-based method to calculate the average number of amphiphilic macromolecules per micelle.