Exploiting nucleobase-containing materials - from monomers to complex morphologies using RAFT dispersion polymerization

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


  • Yan Kang
  • Anais Pitto-Barry
  • Helen Willcock
  • Wen-Dong Quan
  • Nigel Kirby
  • Ana M. Sanchez

Colleges, School and Institutes


The synthesis of nucleobase-containing polymers was successfully performed by RAFT dispersion polymerization in both chloroform and 1,4-dioxane and self-assembly was induced by the polymerizations. A combination of scattering and microscopy techniques were used to characterize the morphologies. It is found that the morphologies of self-assembled nucleobase-containing polymers are solvent dependent. By varying the DP of the core-forming block, only spherical micelles with internal structures were obtained in chloroform when using only adenine-containing methacrylate or a mixture of adenine-containing methacrylate and thymine-containing methacrylate as monomers. However, higher order structures and morphology transitions were observed in 1,4-dioxane. A sphere-rod-lamella-twisted bilayer transition was observed in this study. Moreover, the kinetics of the dispersion polymerizations were studied in both solvents, suggesting a different formation mechanism in these systems.


Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)106-117
Number of pages12
JournalPolymer Chemistry
Early online date11 Sep 2014
Publication statusPublished - 7 Jan 2015