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Synthesis and photoresponsive behavior of azobenzene-containing side-chain liquid crystalline diblock polymers with polypeptide block

Authors

  • Xiaohua He,

    Corresponding author
    1. Department of Chemistry, East China Normal University, 500 Dongchuan Road, Shanghai 200241, China
    2. Shanghai Key Laboratory of Advanced Polymer Materials, School of Materials Science and Engineering, East China University of Science and Technology, Shanghai 200237, China
    • Department of Chemistry, East China Normal University, 500 Dongchuan Road, Shanghai 200241, China
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  • Chunyan Gao,

    1. Department of Chemistry, East China Normal University, 500 Dongchuan Road, Shanghai 200241, China
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  • Wuqiong Sun,

    1. Department of Chemistry, East China Normal University, 500 Dongchuan Road, Shanghai 200241, China
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  • Wei Huang,

    1. Department of Chemistry, East China Normal University, 500 Dongchuan Road, Shanghai 200241, China
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  • Shaoliang Lin,

    Corresponding author
    1. Shanghai Key Laboratory of Advanced Polymer Materials, School of Materials Science and Engineering, East China University of Science and Technology, Shanghai 200237, China
    • Shanghai Key Laboratory of Advanced Polymer Materials, School of Materials Science and Engineering, East China University of Science and Technology, Shanghai 200237, China
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  • Deyue Yan

    1. School of Chemistry and Chemical Engineering, Shanghai Jiao Tong University, 800 Dongchuan Road, Shanghai 200240, China
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Abstract

Well-defined azobenzene-containing side-chain liquid crystalline diblock copolymers composed of poly[6-(4-methoxy-azobenzene-4′-oxy) hexyl methacrylate] (PMMAZO) and poly(γ-benzyl-L-glutamate) (PBLG) were synthesized by click reaction from alkyne- and azide-functionalized homopolymers. The alkyne-terminated PMMAZO homopolymers were synthesized by copper-mediated atom transfer radical polymerization with a bromine-containing alkyne bifunctional initiator, and the azido-terminated PBLG homopolymers were synthesized by ring-opening polymerization of γ-benzyl-L-glutamate-N-carboxyanhydride in DMF at room temperature using an amine-containing azide initiator. The thermotropic phase behavior of PMMAZO-b-PBLG diblock copolymers in bulk were investigated using differential scanning calorimetry and polarized light microscopy. The PMMAZO-b-PBLG diblock copolymers exhibited a smectic phase and a nematic phase when the weight fraction of PMMAZO block was more than 50%. Photoisomerization behavior of PMMAZO-b-PBLG diblock copolymers and the corresponding PMMAZO homopolymers in solid film and in solution were investigated using UV–vis. In solution, trans–cis isomerization of diblock copolymers was slower than that of the corresponding PMMAZO homopolymers. These results may provide guidelines for the design of effective photoresponsive anisotropic materials. © 2012 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. J Polym Sci Part A: Polym Chem, 2013

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