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Synthesis and characterization of novel photoactive polymer poly(vinyl alcohol)-graft-poly(vinyl naphthalene)



A copolymer of poly(vinyl naphthalene) grafted onto poly(vinyl alcohol) has been synthesized with nitroxide-mediated controlled radical polymerization. By separating the processes of the generation of grafting sites and polymerization, we can avoid the formation of the homopolymer. Because of its architecture, the polymer is soluble in water, despite the high content of hydrophobic groups. The naphthalene chromophores tend to aggregate, forming hydrophobic microdomains in an aqueous solution. Those aggregates exist in a very constrained environment that leads to extraordinarily large redshifts of both the absorption and emission of the polymer. The polymer acts as an efficient photosensitizer in photoinduced electron transfer. © 2006 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. J Polym Sci Part A: Polym Chem 44: 2675–2683, 2006