Synthesis of stimuli-responsive PEO-based triblock copolymers and their applications for preparation of iron oxide nanoparticles

Joo Hyun Nam, Woo Seok Choi, Jae Hyeok Lee, Nan Hyun Kwon, Ho Jung Kang, Jae Yeol Lee, Sehoon Kim, Jungahn Kim

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


In this paper, the important and useful method for manufacturing superparamagnetic iron oxide nanoparticles stabilized by water-soluble poly(ethylene oxide) (PEO)-based triblock copolymers showing stimuli-responsive phase transition is introduced. Triblock copolymers, such as poly(ethylene oxide-b-N-vinylimidazole-b-3-(methacrylamino)phenylboronic acid) (PEO-b-PVIm-b-PMAPBA), poly(ethylene oxide-b-N-vinylpyrrolidone-b-3- (methacrylamino)phenylboronic acid) (PEO-b-PVP-b-PMAPBA), and poly(ethylene oxide-b-N-vinylimidazoleb-maleic acid) (PEO-b-PVIm-b-PMAc), were synthesized using the sequential monomer addition method via reversible addition fragmentation chain transfer (RAFT) radical block copolymerizations of the corresponding monomers, using PEO-based RAFT agent. After complete polymerization of N-vinylimidazole or N-vinylpyrrolidone in dimethylformamide (DMF) at 110 °C, 3-(methacrylamino)phenylboronic acid (MAPBA) was polymerized in DMF at 90 °C for 24 h, and N-phenylmaleimide was polymerized in dimethylsulfoxide (DMSO) at 110 °C for 28 h. All the block copolymers were water-soluble and efficient enough to stabilize the surface of nano-sized iron oxide particles in water. The nanoparticles were stable in neutral aqueous media for at least one month. The resulting products were characterized by a combination of 1H nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy (NMR), size exclusion chromatography, transmission electron microscopy (TEM), electron diffraction pattern, and phase transition behavior of the block copolymers using UV/visible spectrophotometer.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1173-1180
Number of pages8
JournalMacromolecular Research
Issue number11
Publication statusPublished - 2012 Nov


  • Iron oxide nanoparticles
  • PEO-based RAFT agent
  • Phase transition behavior
  • RAFT radical copolymerization
  • Water-soluble triblock copolymers

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Chemical Engineering
  • Organic Chemistry
  • Polymers and Plastics
  • Materials Chemistry


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