Copolymers are very interesting materials since their properties combine the ones from each repetitive unit, sometimes in a synergic way. To explore new architectures and compositions in copolymers is a synthetic challenge that has been tackled in the last decades by techniques such RAFT, an RDRP variant. Even using those tools, some arrangements are yet difficult to be obtained. Here the synthesis of a variable-gradient copolymer of styrene (Sty) and tert-butyl acrylate (tBA) is proposed. The material will present excess of tBA on both ends. Such particular distribution will be rached only due the use of ACOMP in conjunction with an automatic monomer flow controller. This system has been developed by Prof. Dr. Wayne F. Reed at Tulane University and it has non-precedent in the worldwide so far. ACOMP provides instantaneous composition data which is compared with a planned composition trajectory then an algorithm sets the monomer flows are adjusted to the instantaneous to reach the planned composition. The materials obtained are to be fully chacterized by GPC, FTIR, NMR and other techniques. Also they will be submitted to hydrolysis to generate amphiphilic copolymers that will be their aggregation in aqueous solution studied but static and dynamic light scattering.
News published in Agência FAPESP Newsletter about the scholarship: