Synthesis and characterisation of amphiphilic block copolymers

Morkel, Charl Ernst (2005-03)

Thesis (PhD (Chemistry and Polymer Science)--University of Stellenbosch, 2005.


This study involves the synthesis and characterisation of PEG-based amphiphilic block copolymers for the hydrophilization of polysulphone ultrafiltration membranes. PEG based macro RAFT agents were synthesized and characterised. PEG-b-PS block copolymers were synthesized via the RAFT assisted controlled free radical polymerisation utilizing the synthesized PEG macro RAFT agents. The resulting polymerisation products were then analyzed by two-dimensional chromatography at the “critical conditions” for PS. In the second phase of this study PEG-b-PSU block copolymers were synthesized via the polycondensation of bis (4-chlorophenyl) sulphone, Bisphenol A, and PEG. The resulting products were characterised by NMR spectrometry. PEG-b-PS films and modified PSU membranes (modified by the addition of PEG-b-PSU block copolymer to the membrane casting solution) were prepared and analyzed. Surface analyses included static contact angle, AFM force-distance analysis, and FTIR-PAS analysis. Results showed the successful synthesis of both PEG-b-PS and PEG-b-PSU amphiphilic block copolymers. Surface analysis proved the successful hydrophilization of the surface of the modified PSU membranes.

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