Synthesis of Polymer Grafted Magnetite Nanoparticle with the Highest Grafting Density via Controlled Radical Polymerization
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Nanoscale Research Letters 2009, 4:1090-1102 doi:10.1007/s11671-009-9365-zPublished: 14 June 2009
The surface-initiated ATRP of benzyl methacrylate, methyl methacrylate, and styrene from magnetite nanoparticle is investigated, without the use of sacrificial (free) initiator in solution. It is observed that the grafting density obtained is related to the polymerization kinetics, being higher for faster polymerizing monomer. The grafting density was found to be nearly 2 chains/nm2for the rapidly polymerizing benzyl methacrylate. In contrast, for the less rapidly polymerizing styrene, the grafting density was found to be nearly 0.7 chain/nm2. It is hypothesized that this could be due to the relative rates of surface-initiated polymerization versus conformational mobility of polymer chains anchored by one end to the surface. An amphiphilic diblock polymer based on 2-hydroxylethyl methacrylate is synthesized from the polystyrene monolayer. The homopolymer and block copolymer grafted MNs form stable dispersions in various solvents. In order to evaluate molecular weight of the polymer that was grafted on to the surface of the nanoparticles, it was degrafted suitably and subjected to gel permeation chromatography analysis. Thermogravimetric analysis, transmission electron microscopy, and Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy were used to confirm the grafting reaction.