Synthesis, characterization and surface properties of amphiphilic polystyrene-b-polypropylene glycol block copolymers
The new macroazoinitiators containing poly (propylene glycol), (PPG), with molecular weight 400 and 2000, having hydrophilic character, were synthesized and polymerized with styrene to prepare PS-b-PPG block copolymers. Cast films and e-spun films were prepared and contact angles of these films with water drop were measured to examine hydrophilic/hydrophobic behavior of the copolymers. Each e-spun film with average fiber diameters from 0.25 to 2.20 μm was prepared in N,N-dimethylformamide (DMF) under controlled electrospinning process parameters such as polymer concentration, applied voltage and tip-to-collector distance. Scanning electron microscope (SEM) images of the electrospun films were taken to determine the fiber diameters. Surface compositions of the block copolymers were also determined by using an electron spectrometer with Mg Kα X-rays. NMR, and FT-IR spectroscopic, and GPC measurements were employed to characterize and determine the PPG contents (6-43%). From the results, electrospinning process increased the hydrophilic properties of the block copolymers obtained, compared their cast film forms. Our results suggest that these polymers are favorable in biological applications in cases where high ratio of the surface to volume and hydrophilicity are required simultaneously. Both chemical structure and topology of the films are important in wetting and hydrophobicity. © 2005 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.