Synthesis of amphiphilic triblock copolymers and application for morphology control of calcium carbonate crystals

Hengrui Yang, Yunlan Su*, Haijin Zhu, Hui Zhu, Baoquan Xie, Ying Zhao, Yongming Chen, Dujin Wang

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

19 Scopus citations


A series of amphiphilic triblock copolymers poly(ethylene glycol)-block-poly(acrylic acid)-block-poly(n-butyl acrylate) (PEG-b-PAA-b-PnBA) differing only in the relative block lengths were synthesized by the acid-catalyzed elimination of the tert-butyl groups from poly(ethylene glycol)-block-poly(tert-butyl acrylate)-block-poly(n-butyl acrylate) (PEG-b-PtBA-b-PnBA), which was synthesized by atom-transfer radical polymerization (ATRP). The degree of polymerization, molecular weight and percentage of hydrolysis of the product PEG-b-PAA-b-PnBA were studied by gel permeation chromatography (GPC), NMR and matrix-assisted laser desorption/ionization time-of-flight mass spectroscopy (MALDI-TOF-MS). Dynamic light scattering (DLS) and transmission electron microscopy (TEM) were used to study the aggregation states of copolymers in water solution. The radii of the copolymer micelles shrink as Ca2+ is introduced into the solutions. The crystallization behaviors of calcium carbonate controlled by copolymer 1 (PEG112-b-PAA86-b-PnBA60) and copolymer 2 (PEG112-b-PAA40-b-PnBA72) differing mainly in the length of PAA block were systematically studied. It was found that the crystallization products are composed of calcite and vaterite, and the ratio of vaterite to calcite increases with increasing the concentration of copolymer 1. For copolymer 2, however, only calcite is obtained at all the concentration range investigated in this work.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)4344-4351
Number of pages8
Issue number15
StatePublished - 13 Jul 2007
Externally publishedYes


  • Amphiphilic triblock copolymer
  • Atom-transfer radical polymerization (ATRP)
  • Calcium carbonate


Dive into the research topics of 'Synthesis of amphiphilic triblock copolymers and application for morphology control of calcium carbonate crystals'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this