Thermo-Responsive Membranes from Blends of PVDF and PNIPAM-b-PVDF Block Copolymers with Linear and Star Architectures

Fatimah Algarni, Valentina-Elena Musteata, Gheorghe Falca, Stefan Chisca, Nikos Hadjichristidis, Suzana Pereira Nunes

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

We report the synthesis of poly(n-isopropylacrylamide)-b-poly(vinylidene fluoride), (PNIPAM-b-PVDF), copolymers with linear and star structures, as well as the self-assembly and fabrication of thermo-responsive membranes from blends of these block copolymers and a linear PVDF homopolymer. The synthesis was achieved by reversible addition–fragmentation chain-transfer sequential copolymerization using mono- or multifunctional transfer agents. The self-assembly in bulk and selective solvents was investigated. The PVDF blocks are crystallizable and hydrophobic and the PNIPAM thermo-responsive in water. The morphology is dominated by the breakout crystallization of the PVDF block. Nanoporous membranes were fabricated by non-solvent-induced phase-separation method. The membranes revealed a macroscale zig–zag morphology, which is dependent on the block copolymer architecture. Due to the presence of PNIPAM, these membranes exhibited thermo-responsive behavior with water permeability and rejection alternately varying with the operating temperature, which is reversible in multiple heating–cooling cycles.
Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalMacromolecules
DOIs
StatePublished - Sep 10 2021

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Materials Chemistry
  • Organic Chemistry
  • Polymers and Plastics
  • Inorganic Chemistry

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