Synthesis of new amphiphilic diblock copolymers containing poly(ethylene oxide) and poly(α-olefin)

Yingying Lu, Youliang Hu, Z. M. Wang, E. Manias, T. C. Chung

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46 Scopus citations


This article discusses an effective route to prepare amphiphilic diblock copolymers containing a poly(ethylene oxide) block and a polyolefin block that includes semicrystalline thermoplastics, such as polyethylene and syndiotactic polystyrene (s-PS), and elastomers, such as poly(ethylene-co-1-octene) and poly(ethylene-co-styrene) random copolymers. The broad choice of polyolefin blocks provides the amphiphilic copolymers with a wide range of thermal properties from high melting temperature ∼270°C to low glass-transition temperature ∼-60°C. The chemistry involves two reaction steps, including the preparation of a borane group-terminated polyolefin by the combination of a metallocene catalyst and a borane chain-transfer agent as well as the interconversion of a borane terminal group to an anionic (-O-K+) terminal group for the subsequent ring-opening polymerization of ethylene oxide. The overall reaction process resembles a transformation from the metallocene polymerization of α-olefins to the ring-opening polymerization of ethylene oxide. The well-defined reaction mechanisms in both steps provide the diblock copolymer with controlled molecular structure in terms of composition, molecular weight, moderate molecular weight distribution (Mw/Mn < 2.5), and absence of homopolymer.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)3416-3425
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Polymer Science, Part A: Polymer Chemistry
Issue number20
StatePublished - Oct 15 2002

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Polymers and Plastics
  • Organic Chemistry
  • Materials Chemistry


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