Skip to main content

Research Repository

Advanced Search

A facile route to bespoke macro- and mesoporous block copolymer microparticles

He, Guping; Bennett, Thomas M.; Alauhdin, Mohammad; Fay, Michael W.; Liu, Xin; Schwab, Simon T.; Sun, Cheng-gong; Howdle, Steven M.


Guping He

Thomas M. Bennett

Mohammad Alauhdin

Research Fellow

Simon T. Schwab

Cheng-gong Sun


We report a facile and versatile strategy for the bespoke fabrication of macro- and mesoporous block copolymer microparticles. A clean synthetic route, RAFT dispersion polymerisation in supercritical carbon dioxide (scCO2), is used to generate block copolymer microparticles. Selective swelling/deswelling is then applied to induce controlled morphology transitions and to trap the resulting porous state. The pore sizes are controllable over a large size range (~20 – 200 nm) by varying the length of the swellable block. Through a systematic approach we then demonstrate that the shape of the pores can also be tailored from isolated spheres through to interconnected/bicontinuous channels by varying the ratio of the two blocks. This process is shown to be applicable to a range of poly(methyl methacrylate) (PMMA)based block copolymer systems, including PMMA-b-poly(4-vinyl pyridine), PMMAb-poly(dimethyl acrylamide) (DMA) and PMMA-bpoly(dimethylaminoethylmethacrylate) (DMAEMA). In each case, the second minority block (e.g. P4VP, etc.) was selectively swollen with an alcohol to induce an order-toorder morphology transition and then quenched rapidly by the non-solvent hexane. This not only takes place on the order of hours, but is also freely scalable for the production of grams of material and beyond in a single step following polymerisation.


He, G., Bennett, T. M., Alauhdin, M., Fay, M. W., Liu, X., Schwab, S. T., …Howdle, S. M. (in press). A facile route to bespoke macro- and mesoporous block copolymer microparticles. Polymer Chemistry, 9(27),

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Jun 14, 2018
Online Publication Date Jun 15, 2018
Deposit Date Jul 12, 2018
Publicly Available Date Jun 16, 2019
Journal Polymer Chemistry
Print ISSN 1759-9954
Electronic ISSN 1759-9954
Publisher Royal Society of Chemistry
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 9
Issue 27
Public URL
Publisher URL!divAbstract


You might also like

Downloadable Citations