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  1. Abstract

    By combining the unique characteristics of molecular bottlebrushes (MBBs) and the properties of stimuli‐responsive polymers, we show that MBBs with randomly grafted poly(n‐butyl acrylate) and pH‐responsive poly(2‐(N,N‐diethylamino)ethyl methacrylate) (PDEAEMA) side chains are efficient and robust pH‐responsive emulsifiers. Water‐in‐toluene emulsions were formed at pH 4.0 and disrupted by increasing the pH to 10.0. The emulsion generation and disruption was reversible over the ten cycles investigated, and the bottlebrushes remained intact. The exceptional emulsion stability stemmed from the high interfacial binding energy of MBBs, imparted by their large molecular size and Janus architecture at the interface, as evidenced by the interfacial jamming and wrinkling of the assemblies upon reducing the interfacial area. At pH 10.0, PDEAEMA became water‐insoluble, and the MBBs desorbed from the interface, causing de‐emulsification. Consequently, we have shown that the judicious design of MBBs can generate properties of particle emulsifiers from their large size, while the responsiveness of the MBBs enables more potential applications.

     
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  2. Abstract

    By combining the unique characteristics of molecular bottlebrushes (MBBs) and the properties of stimuli‐responsive polymers, we show that MBBs with randomly grafted poly(n‐butyl acrylate) and pH‐responsive poly(2‐(N,N‐diethylamino)ethyl methacrylate) (PDEAEMA) side chains are efficient and robust pH‐responsive emulsifiers. Water‐in‐toluene emulsions were formed at pH 4.0 and disrupted by increasing the pH to 10.0. The emulsion generation and disruption was reversible over the ten cycles investigated, and the bottlebrushes remained intact. The exceptional emulsion stability stemmed from the high interfacial binding energy of MBBs, imparted by their large molecular size and Janus architecture at the interface, as evidenced by the interfacial jamming and wrinkling of the assemblies upon reducing the interfacial area. At pH 10.0, PDEAEMA became water‐insoluble, and the MBBs desorbed from the interface, causing de‐emulsification. Consequently, we have shown that the judicious design of MBBs can generate properties of particle emulsifiers from their large size, while the responsiveness of the MBBs enables more potential applications.

     
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  3. null (Ed.)
  4. Abstract

    Polymer single crystals are used as templates to synthesize polymer brushes, known as the “polymer‐single‐crystal‐assisted‐grafting‐to” (PSCAGT) approach. Polymer brushes with controlled grafting densities and spatial tethering locations are demonstrated. Previous works focused on solution crystallization, which involves large amounts of organic solvent, and the grafting density can only be tuned by varying crystallization temperatures. In this work, thin film crystallization is utilized to fabricate 2D polymer crystals on flat surfaces. Subsequent chemical tethering leads to polymer brushes that retain the original morphology of the crystals with high fidelity. Furthermore, it is shown that the grafting density of the polymer brushes fabricated using this method depends on the chain end distribution on the top/bottom surfaces of the crystal, which can be facilely controlled by annealing the crystals at various nonsolvent media. This work broadens the scope of the PSCAGT method and provides a new route to achieve polymer brushes with controlled structures.

     
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