Synthesis, characterization and thermal degradation of dual temperature- and pH-sensitive RAFT-made copolymers of N,N-(dimethylamino)ethyl methacrylate and methyl methacrylate


Correspondence to: Priyadarsi De, Polymer Research Centre, Department of Chemical Sciences, Indian Institute of Science Education and Research – Kolkata, Mohanpur 741252, Nadia, West Bengal, India. E-mail:


Poly{[(N,N-(dimethylamino)ethyl methacrylate]-co-(methyl methacrylate)} copolymers of various compositions were synthesized by reversible addition-fragmentation chain transfer (RAFT) polymerization at 70 °C in N,N-dimethylformamide. The polymer molecular weights and molecular weight distributions were obtained from size exclusion chromatography, and they indicated the controlled nature of the RAFT polymerizations; the polydispersity indices are in the range 1.1–1.3. The reactivity ratios of N,N-(dimethylamino)ethyl methacrylate (DMAEMA) and methyl methacrylate (MMA) (rDMAEMA = 0.925 and rMMA = 0.854) were computed by the extended Kelen–Tüdös method at high conversions, using compositions obtained from 1H NMR. The pH- and temperature-sensitive behaviour were studied in aqueous solution to confirm dual responsiveness of these copolymers. The thermal properties of the copolymers with various compositions were investigated by differential scanning calorimetry and thermogravimetric analysis. The kinetics of thermal degradation were determined by Friedmann and Chang techniques to evaluate various parameters such as the activation energy, the order and the frequency factor. © 2012 Society of Chemical Industry