(19)
(11)EP 2 949 685 A1

(12)EUROPEAN PATENT APPLICATION

(43)Date of publication:
02.12.2015 Bulletin 2015/49

(21)Application number: 15168009.7

(22)Date of filing:  18.05.2015
(51)International Patent Classification (IPC): 
C08G 61/12(2006.01)
C08J 5/22(2006.01)
B01D 71/80(2006.01)
(84)Designated Contracting States:
AL AT BE BG CH CY CZ DE DK EE ES FI FR GB GR HR HU IE IS IT LI LT LU LV MC MK MT NL NO PL PT RO RS SE SI SK SM TR
Designated Extension States:
BA ME
Designated Validation States:
MA

(30)Priority: 30.05.2014 US 201414292751

(71)Applicant: Pall Corporation
Port Washington, NY 11050 (US)

(72)Inventor:
  • Aamer, Khaled Abdel-Hakim Helmy
    Port Washington, NY New York 11050 (US)

(74)Representative: Hoeger, Stellrecht & Partner Patentanwälte mbB 
Uhlandstrasse 14c
70182 Stuttgart
70182 Stuttgart (DE)

  


(54)SELF-ASSEMBLING POLYMERS


(57) Disclosed are self-assembling block copolymers including diblock copolymers of the formula (I):

wherein R1-R4, n, and m are as described herein, which find use in preparing self-assembled structure and porous membranes. Embodiments of the self-assembled structure contain the block copolymer in a cylindrical morphology. Also disclosed is a method of preparing such copolymers.




Description

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION



[0001] Polymers, in particular block copolymers, which self-assemble into nanostructures have been proposed for use in a number of applications including filtration membranes, pervaporation membranes, lithography, solid state polymer electrolytes, ion exchange membranes, and biomaterials. For example, diblock copolymers when dissolved in selective solvents self-assemble into spherical or cylindrical micelles, vesicles and other structures. However, challenges remain in obtaining well defined nanostructures. The foregoing indicates that there is an unmet need for block copolymers that self-assemble under appropriate processing conditions to provide well defined nanostructures.

BRIEF SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION



[0002] The invention provides a block copolymer of the formula (I) or (II):



wherein:

R1 is a poly(alkyleneoxide) group of the formula, -(CHR-CH2-O)p-R', wherein p = 2-6, R is H or methyl, and R' is H, a C1-C6 alkyl group, or a C3-C11 cycloalkyl group;

R2 is a C1-C22 alkyl group or a C3-C11 cycloalkyl group, each optionally substituted with a substituent selected from halo, alkoxy, alkylcarbonyl, alkoxycarbonyl, amido, and nitro;

one of R3 and R4 is a C6-C14 aryl group, optionally substituted with a substituent selected from hydroxy, halo, amino, and nitro, and the other of R3 and R4 is a C1-C22 alkoxy group, optionally substituted with a substituent selected from carboxy, amino, mercapto, alkynyl, alkenyl, halo, azido, and heterocyclyl;

n and m are independently 2 to about 2000; 0 < x ≤ n and 0 < y ≤ m.



[0003] The invention also provides a process for preparing the block copolymer of formula (I) or (II) and also membranes prepared from the block copolymers.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE SEVERAL VIEWS OF THE DRAWINGS



[0004] 

Fig. 1 depicts the overlaid traces of the Multi-angle Laser Light Scattering (MALS) gel permeation chromatograms (GPC) of a homopolymer 1 (a precursor to the diblock copolymer), a diblock copolymer precursor 2, and the diblock copolymer 3 in accordance with an embodiment of the invention.

Fig. 2 illustrates a membrane comprising a block copolymer in accordance with an embodiment of the invention.

Fig. 3 depicts an Atomic Force Microscopy (AFM) height image a self-assembled structure in accordance with an embodiment of the invention. The self-assembled structure was prepared by spin coating a solution of the copolymer on glass surface for 90 sec at 2000 rpm and annealing the resulting thin film in dichloromethane (DCM) vapor for 40 h.

Fig. 4 depicts the line profile extracted from Fig. 3.


DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION



[0005] In an embodiment, the invention provides a block copolymer of the formula (I) or (II):



wherein:

R1 is a poly(alkyleneoxide) group of the formula, -(CHR-CH2-O)p-R', wherein p = 2-6, R is H or methyl, and R' is H, a C1-C6 alkyl group, or a C3-C11 cycloalkyl group;

R2 is a C1-C22 alkyl group or a C3-C11 cycloalkyl group, each optionally substituted with a substituent selected from halo, alkoxy, alkylcarbonyl, alkoxycarbonyl, amido, and nitro;

one of R3 and R4 is a C6-C14 aryl group or a heteroaryl group, optionally substituted with a substituent selected from hydroxy, halo, amino, and nitro, and the other of R3 and R4 is a C1-C22 alkoxy group, optionally substituted with a substituent selected from carboxy, amino, mercapto, alkynyl, alkenyl, halo, azido, and heterocyclyl;

n and m are independently 2 to about 2000; and 0 < x ≤ n and 0 < y ≤ m.



[0006] In Formula (II), broken bonds indicate partial hydrogenation. Preferably, x is 0.1 to n and y is 0.1 to m. When x = n, the corresponding block is fully hydrogenated. Similarly, when y = m, the corresponding block is fully hydrogenated. In accordance with embodiments, x/n and y/m are independently 0.1, 0.2, 0.3, 0.4, 0.5, 0.6, 0.7, 0.8, 0.9, or 1.

[0007] In accordance with an embodiment, the invention provides a diblock copolymer of the formula (Ia), where the monomers are exo isomers:



[0008] In any of the embodiments above, R is H.

[0009] In an embodiment, p is 3-6.

[0010] In accordance with any of the above embodiments, R' is a C1-C6 alkyl group, preferably methyl.

[0011] In any of the embodiments above, R2 is a C10-C18 alkyl group, optionally substituted with a substituent selected from hydroxy, nitro, amino, halo, alkoxy, alkylcarbonyl, alkoxycarbonyl, amido, and nitro.

[0012] In an embodiment, R2 is a C16 alkyl group, optionally substituted with a substituent selected from hydroxy, nitro, amino, halo, alkoxy, alkylcarbonyl, alkoxycarbonyl, amido, and nitro.

[0013] In any of the embodiments above, R3 is a C6-C14 aryl group, optionally substituted with a substituent selected from hydroxy, halo, amino, and nitro and R4 is a C1-C22 alkoxy group, optionally substituted with a substituent selected from carboxy, amino, mercapto, alkynyl, alkenyl, halo, azido, and heterocyclyl.

[0014] In an embodiment, R3 is phenyl, optionally substituted with a substituent selected from hydroxy, halo, amino, and nitro and R4 is a C1-C6 alkoxy group, optionally substituted with a substituent selected from carboxy, amino, mercapto, alkynyl, alkenyl, halo, azido, and heterocyclyl.

[0015] In an embodiment, R3 is provided by the ROMP catalyst employed for the polymerization of the monomers.

[0016] In an embodiment, R4 is a group provided by the vinyl ether compound employed for terminating the polymerization.

[0017] In accordance with the invention, the term "aryl" refers to a mono, bi, or tricyclic carbocyclic ring system having one, two, or three aromatic rings, for example, phenyl, naphthyl, anthracenyl, or biphenyl. The term "aryl" refers to an unsubstituted or substituted aromatic carbocyclic moiety, as commonly understood in the art, and includes monocyclic and polycyclic aromatics such as, for example, phenyl, biphenyl, naphthyl, anthracenyl, pyrenyl, and the like. An aryl moiety generally contains from, for example, 6 to 30 carbon atoms, preferably from 6 to 18 carbon atoms, more preferably from 6 to 14 carbon atoms and most preferably from 6 to 10 carbon atoms. It is understood that the term aryl includes carbocyclic moieties that are planar and comprise 4n+2 π electrons, according to Hückel's Rule, wherein n = 1, 2, or 3.

[0018] In accordance with the invention, the term "heteroaryl" refers to a cyclic aromatic radical having from five to ten ring atoms of which at least one atom is O, S, or N, and the remaining atoms are carbon. Examples of heteroaryl radicals include pyridyl, pyrazinyl, pyrimidinyl, pyrrolyl, pyrazolyl, imidazolyl, thiazolyl, oxazolyl, isooxazolyl, thiadiazolyl, oxadiazolyl, thiophenyl, furanyl, quinolinyl, and isoquinolinyl. The term "heteroaryl" as used herein, means a monocyclic heteroaryl or a bicyclic heteroaryl. The monocyclic heteroaryl is a five- or six-membered ring. The five-membered ring consists of two double bonds and one sulfur, nitrogen or oxygen atom. Alternatively, the five-membered ring has two double bonds and one, two, three or four nitrogen atoms and optionally one additional heteroatom selected from oxygen or sulfur, and the others carbon atoms. The six-membered ring consists of three double bonds, one, two, three or four nitrogen atoms, and the others carbon atoms. The bicyclic heteroaryl consists of a monocyclic heteroaryl fused to a phenyl, or a monocyclic heteroaryl fused to a monocyclic cycloalkyl, or a monocyclic heteroaryl fused to a monocyclic cycloalkenyl, or a monocyclic heteroaryl fused to a monocyclic heteroaryl. The monocyclic and the bicyclic heteroaryl are connected to the parent molecular moiety through any substitutable atom contained within the monocyclic or the bicyclic heteroaryl. The monocyclic and bicyclic heteroaryl groups of the present invention can be substituted or unsubstituted. In addition, the nitrogen heteroatom may or may not be quaternized, and may or may not be oxidized to the N-oxide. Also, the nitrogen containing rings may or may not be N-protected. Representative examples of monocyclic heteroaryl include, but are not limited to, furanyl, imidazolyl, isoxazolyl, isothiazolyl, oxadiazolyl, oxazolyl, pyridinyl, pyridine-N-oxide, pyridazinyl, pyrimnidinyl, pyrazinyl, pyrazolyl, pyrrolyl, tetrazolyl, thiadiazolyl, thiazolyl, thienyl, triazolyl, and triazinyl. Representative examples of bicyclic heteroaryl groups include, but not limited to, benzothienyl, benzoxazolyl, benzimidazolyl, benzoxadiazolyl, 6,7-dihydro-1,3-benzothiazolyl, imidazo[1,2-a]pyridinyl, indazolyl, 1H-indazol-3-yl, indolyl, isoindolyl, isoquinolinyl, naphthyridinyl, pyridoimidazolyl, quinolinyl, quinolin-8-yl, and 5,6,7,8-tetrahydroquinolin-5-yl.

[0019] The "alkyl" group could be linear or branched. In accordance with an embodiment, the alkyl group is preferably a C1-C22 alkyl. Examples of alkyl group include methyl, ethyl, n-propyl, isopropyl, n-butyl, sec-butyl, isobutyl, tert-butyl, n-pentyl, isopentyl, n-hexyl, hexadecyl, and the like. This definition also applies wherever "alkyl" occurs such as in hydroxyalkyl, monohalo alkyl, dihalo alkyl, and trihalo alkyl. The alkyl group can also be further substituted with a cycloalkyl group, e.g., a C3-C11 cycloalkyl group.

[0020] In any of the above embodiments, the "cycloalkyl" group can be monocyclic or bicyclic. Examples of monocyclic cycloalkyl groups include cyclopropyl, cyclobutyl, cyclopentyl, cyclohexyl, cycloheptyl, and cyclooctyl. Examples of bicyclic cycloalkyl groups include those with one common ring carbon atom such as spirooctane, spirononane, spirodecane, and spiroundecane, and those with two common ring carbon atoms such as bicyclooctane, bicyclononane, bicyclodecane, and bicycloundecane. Any of the cycloalkyl groups could be optionally substituted with one or more alkyl groups, e.g., C1-C6 alkyl groups.

[0021] In accordance with an embodiment, the "alkoxy" group is preferably a C1-C22 alkoxy. Examples of alkoxy group include methoxy, ethoxy, n-propoxy, isopropoxy, n-butoxy, sec-butoxy, isobutoxy, tert-butoxy, n-pentoxy, isopentoxy, n-hexoxy, hexadecyloxy, and the like.

[0022] The term "halo" refers to a halogen selected from the group consisting of fluorine, chlorine, bromine, and iodine, preferably chlorine or bromine.

[0023] The term "heterocycle" or "heterocyclic" as used herein, means a monocyclic heterocycle or a bicyclic heterocycle. The monocyclic heterocycle is a three-, four-, five-, six- or seven-membered ring containing at least one heteroatom independently selected from the group consisting of O, N, N(H) and S. The three- or four-membered ring contains zero or one double bond and a heteroatom selected from the group consisting of O, N, N(H) and S. The five-membered ring contains zero or one double bond, and one, two or three heteroatoms selected from the group consisting of O, N, N(H) and S. The six-membered ring contains zero, one or two double bonds and one, two or three heteroatoms selected from the group consisting of O, N, N(H) and S. The seven-membered ring contains zero, one, two, or three double bonds and one, two or three heteroatoms selected from the group consisting of O, N, N(H) and S. The monocyclic heterocycle can be unsubstituted or substituted and is connected to the parent molecular moiety through any substitutable carbon atom or any substitutable nitrogen atom contained within the monocyclic heterocycle. Representative examples of monocyclic heterocycle include, but are not limited to, azetidinyl, azepanyl, aziridinyl, diazepanyl, [1,4]diazepan-1-yl, 1,3-dioxanyl, 1,3-dioxolanyl, 1,3-dithiolanyl, 1,3-dithianyl, homomorpholinyl, homopiperazinyl, imidazolinyl, imidazolidinyl, isothiazolinyl, isothiazolidinyl, isoxazolinyl, isoxazolidinyl, morpholinyl, oxadiazolinyl, oxadiazolidinyl, oxazohnyl, oxazolidinyl, piperazinyl, piperidinyl, pyranyl, pyrazolinyl, pyrazolidinyl, pyrrolinyl, pyrrolidinyl, tetrahydrofuranyl, tetrahydropyranyl, tetrahydrothienyl, thiadiazolinyl, thiadiazolidinyl, thiazolinyl, thiazolidinyl, thiomorpholinyl, 1,1-dioxidothiomorpholinyl (thiomorpholine sulfone), thiopyranyl, and trithianyl. The bicyclic heterocycle is a monocyclic heterocycle fused to a phenyl group, or a monocyclic heterocycle fused to a monocyclic cycloalkyl, or a monocyclic heterocycle fused to a monocyclic cycloalkenyl, a monocyclic heterocycle fused to a monocyclic heterocycle, or a monocyclic heterocycle fused to a monocyclic heteroaryl. The bicyclic heterocycle is connected to the parent molecular moiety through any substitutable carbon atom or any substitutable nitrogen atom contained within the bicyclic heterocycle and can be unsubstituted or substituted. Representative examples of bicyclic heterocycle include, but are not limited to, benzodioxinyl, benzopyranyl, thiochromanyl, 2,3-dihydroindolyl, indolizinyl, pyranopyridinyl, 1,2,3,4-tetrahydroisoquinolinyl, 1,2,3,4-tetrahydroquinolinyl, thiopyranopyridinyl, 2-oxo-1,3-benzoxazolyl, 3-oxo-benzoxazinyl, 3-azabicyclo[3.2.0]heptyl, 3,6-diazabicyclo[3.2.0]heptyl, octahydrocyclopenta[c]pyrrolyl, hexahydro-1H-furo[3,4-c]pyrrolyl, octahydropyrrolo[3,4-c]pyrrolyl, 2,3-dihydrobenzofuran-7-yl, 2,3-dihydrobenzofuran-3-yl, and 3,4-dihydro-2H-chromen-4-yl. The monocyclic or bicyclic heterocycles as defined herein may have two of the non-adjacent carbon atoms connected by a heteroatom selected from N, N(H), O or S, or an alkylene bridge of between one and three additional carbon atoms. Representative examples of monocyclic or bicyclic heterocycles that contain such connection between two non-adjacent carbon atoms include, but not limited to, 2-azabicyclo[2.2.2]octyl, 2-oxa-5-azabicyclo[2.2.2]octyl, 2,5-diazabicyclo[2.2.2]octyl, 2-azabicyclo[2.2.1]heptyl, 2-oxa-5-azabicyclo[2.2.1]heptyl, 2,5-diazabicyclo[2.2.1]heptyl, 2-azabicyclo[2.1.1]hexyl, 5-azabicyclo[2.1.1]hexyl, 3-azabicyclo[3.1.1]heptyl, 6-oxa-3-azabicyclo[3.1.1]heptyl, 8-azabicyclo[3.2.1]octyl, 3-oxa-8-azabicyclo[3.2.1]octyl, 1,4-diazabicyclo[3.2.2]nonyl, 1,4-diazatricyclo[4.3.1.1 3,8 ]undecyl, 3,10-diazabicyclo[4.3.1]decyl, or 8-oxa-3-azabicyclo[3.2.1]octyl, octahydro-1H-4,7-methanoisoindolyl, and octahydro-1H-4,7-epoxyisoindolyl. The nitrogen heteroatom may or may not be quaternized, and may or may not be oxidized to the N-oxide. In addition, the nitrogen containing heterocyclic rings may or may not be N-protected.

[0024] Examples of heterocyclyl groups include pyridyl, piperidinyl, piperazinyl, pyrazinyl, pyrolyl, pyranyl, tetrahydropyranyl, tetrahydrothiopyranyl, pyrrolidinyl, furanyl, tetrahydrofuranyl, thiophenyl, tetrahydrothiophenyl, purinyl, pyrimidinyl, thiazolyl, thiazolidinyl, thiazolinyl, oxazolyl, triazolyl, tetrazolyl, tetrazinyl, benzoxazolyl, morpholinyl, thiophorpholinyl, quinolinyl, and isoquinolinyl.

[0025] Five-membered unsaturated heterocyclics with and without benzo: furanyl, thiopheneyl, pyrrolyl, pyrazolyl, pyrazolinyl, imidazolyl, imidazolinyl, dithiazolyl, furazanyl, 1,2,3-triazolyl, tetrazolyl, 1,2,4-triazolyl, oxadiazolyl, thiadiazolyl, isoxazolyl, isoxazolinyl, oxazolyl, oxazolinyl, phospholyl, isothiazolyl, thiazolyl, thiazolinyl, isothiazolyl, isothiazolidinyl, benzofuranyl, benzothiopheneyl, indolyl, benzimidazolyl, benzoxazolinyl, and benzothiazolinyl.

[0026] Whenever a range of the number of atoms in a structure is indicated (e.g., a C1-22, a C1-12, C1-8, C1-6, or C1-4 alkyl, alkoxy, etc.), it is specifically contemplated that any sub-range or individual number of carbon atoms falling within the indicated range also can be used. Thus, for instance, the recitation of a range of 1-22 carbon atoms (e.g., C1-C22), 1-20 carbon atoms (e.g., C1-C20), 1-18 carbon atoms(e.g., C1-C20), 1-16 carbon atoms(e.g., C1-C16), 1-14 carbon atoms(e.g., C1-C14), 1-12 carbon atoms(e.g., C1-C12), 1-10 carbon atoms(e.g., C1-C10), 1-8 carbon atoms(e.g., C1-C8)" 1-6 carbon atoms (e.g., C1-C6), 1-4 carbon atoms (e.g., C1-C4), 1-3 carbon atoms (e.g., C1-C3), or 2-8 carbon atoms (e.g., C2-C8) as used with respect to any chemical group (e.g., alkyl, alkoxy, alkylamino, etc.) referenced herein encompasses and specifically describes 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, or 22 carbon atoms, as appropriate, as well as any sub-range thereof, e.g., 1-2 carbon atoms, 1-3 carbon atoms, 1-4 carbon atoms, 1-5 carbon atoms, 1-6 carbon atoms, 1-7 carbon atoms, 1-8 carbon atoms, 1-9 carbon atoms, 1-10 carbon atoms, 1-11 carbon atoms, 1-12 carbon atoms, 1-13 carbon atoms, 1-14 carbon atoms, 1-15 carbon atoms, 1-16 carbon atoms, 1-17 carbon atoms, 1-18 carbon atoms, 1-19 carbon atoms, 1-20 carbon atoms, 1-21 carbon atoms, and 1-22 carbon atoms, and anything in between such as 2-3 carbon atoms, 2-4 carbon atoms, 2-5 carbon atoms, 2-6 carbon atoms, 2-7 carbon atoms, 2-8 carbon atoms, 2-9 carbon atoms, 2-10 carbon atoms, 2-11 carbon atoms, 2-12 carbon atoms, 2-12 carbon atoms, 2-13 carbon atoms, 2-14 carbon atoms, 2-15 carbon atoms, 2-16 carbon atoms, 2-17 carbon atoms, 2-18 carbon atoms, 2-19 carbon atoms, 2-20 carbon atoms, 2-21 carbon atoms, and 2-22 carbon atoms, 3-4 carbon atoms, 3-5 carbon atoms, 3-6 carbon atoms, 3-7 carbon atoms, 3-8 carbon atoms, 3-9 carbon atoms, 3-10 carbon atoms, 3-11 carbon atoms, 3-12 carbon atoms, 3-13 carbon atoms, 3-14 carbon atoms, 3-15 carbon atoms, 3-16 carbon atoms, 3-17 carbon atoms, 3-18 carbon atoms, 3-19 carbon atoms, 3-20 carbon atoms, 3-21 carbon atoms, and 3-22 carbon atoms, and 4-5 carbon atoms, 4-6 carbon atoms, 4-7 carbon atoms, 4-8 carbon atoms, 4-9 carbon atoms, 4-10 carbon atoms, 4-11 carbon atoms, 4-12 carbon atoms, 4-13 carbon atoms, 4-14 carbon atoms, 4-15 carbon atoms, 4-16 carbon atoms, 4-17 carbon atoms, 4-18 carbon atoms, 4-19 carbon atoms, 4-20 carbon atoms, 4-21 carbon atoms, 4-22 carbon atoms, etc., as appropriate.

[0027] In the above embodiments, "n" and "m" represent the average degree of polymerization of the respective monomers.

[0028] In accordance with embodiments of the invention, n is about 10 to about 1000, about 10 to about 500, about 10 to about 250, about 20 to about 1000, about 20 to about 500, about 20 to about 250, about 30 to about 1000, about 30 to about 500, about 30 to about 250, about 40 to about 1000, about 40 to about 500, about 40 to about 250, about 50 to about 1000, about 50 to about 500, about 50 to about 250, about 60 to about 1000, about 60 to about 500, or about 60 to about 250.

[0029] In any of the above embodiments, m is about 50 to about 2000, about 50 to about 1500, about 50 to about 1000, about 100 to about 2000, about 100 to about 1500, about 100 to about 1000, about 150 to about 2000, about 150 to about 1500, about 150 to about 1000, about 200 to about 2000, about 200 to about 1500, or about 200 to about 1000.

[0030] In any of the above embodiments of the diblock copolymer, n is typically about 30 to about 350, preferably about 70 to about 200, and more preferably about 100 to about 150.

[0031] In any of the above embodiments, m is typically about 75 to about 900, preferably about 180 about 500, and more preferably about 250 to about 400.

[0032] The block copolymer can have any suitable total molecular weight, for example, a number average molecular weight (Mn) of from about 35 kDa to about 450 kDa; in certain embodiments, the block copolymer has an Mn of from about 75 kDa to about 300 kDa; in certain other embodiments, the block copolymer has an Mn of from about 100 kDa to about 250 kDa. In an embodiment, the block copolymer has an Mn of about 129 kDa.

[0033] The double bonds in the block copolymer can have any suitable orientation, cis, trans, and they can be distributed in a random manner.

[0034] The block copolymer may self-assemble into any suitable morphology, for example, but not limited to, spherical or body centered cubic morphology, cylindrical morphology, lamellar morphology, or double gyroid morphology. The type of nanostructure into which the copolymers self-assemble would depend, among others, on the volume fraction of the two blocks in the block copolymer as well as the nature of the solvent system.

[0035] For example, at a polymer volume fraction ratio range (fA:fB) of the two monomers of 37-50:63-50, formation of a lamellar morphology involving a stack of layers of equivalent domain size is favored, at a volume fraction ratio range of 15-70:85-30, formation of a cylindrical morphology where the minor polymer component forms cylinders in a matrix of major polymer block component is favored, and at a volume fraction ratio range of 7-15:83-85, formation of spherical morphology or body centered cubic (bcc) morphology where the minor polymer component forms spheres in a matrix of the major polymer block component is favored. At a volume fraction ratio range of 33-37:67-33, formation of a double gyroid morphology is favored.

[0036] Cylindrical morphology includes a phase domain morphology having discrete tubular or cylindrical shapes. The tubular or cylindrical shapes may be hexagonally packed on a hexagonal lattice. In embodiments, the cylindrical domain size is from about 5 nm to about 100 nm.

[0037] Lamellar morphology includes a phase domain morphology having layers of alternating compositions that are generally oriented parallel with respect to one another. In embodiments, the lamellar domain size is from about 5 nm to about 100 nm.

[0038] The double gyroid morphology comprises two interpenetrating continuous network. In embodiments, the double gyroid domain size is from about 5 nm to about 100 nm.

[0039] Spherical morphology or bcc morphology refers to a phase domain morphology having spherical domains of one block arranged on a body centered cubic lattice in a matrix of the second block. In embodiments, the spherical morphology domain size is from about 5 nm to about 100 nm.

[0040] In an embodiment, the polymerized second monomer (bearing R2) and the polymerized first monomer (bearing R1) are present in the diblock copolymer in any suitable volume fraction. For example, the % volume fraction of the first monomer to that of the second monomer can be in the range of about 15: about 85 to about 30: about 70, preferably in the range of about 19: about 81 to about 25: about 75, and more preferably about 20: about 80. In an embodiment, the volume fraction of the second monomer is about 74%, and the mass fraction is 70%, of the total polymer.

[0041] In an embodiment, the volume fraction of the second monomer to that of the first monomer is about 2.3 to 5.6:1, which favors the formation of a cylindrical morphology. In a preferred embodiment, the volume fraction of the second monomer to that of the first monomer is 2.25:1.

[0042] In a specific embodiment, the diblock copolymer of formula (I) has the following structure, in particular, wherein n is 100 and m is 180:



[0043] In an embodiment, the diblock copolymer of formula (I) has the following structure where the monomers are in the exo configuration, in particular, wherein n is 100 and m is 180:



[0044] The present invention further provides a method of preparing a block copolymer of formula (I) or (II) described above, comprising:
  1. (i) polymerizing one of the two monomers of the formulas:

    with a ring opening metathesis polymerization (ROMP) catalyst to obtain a ring-opened polymer having a living chain end;
  2. (ii) polymerizing the other of the two monomers on the living end of the ring-opened polymer obtained in (i) to obtain a diblock copolymer having a living end; and
  3. (iii) terminating the living end of the diblock copolymer obtained in (ii) with an optionally substituted alkyl vinyl ether; and
  4. (iv) hydrogenating the diblock copolymer obtained in (iii) to obtain a block copolymer of formula (I) or (II).


[0045] In an embodiment of the above method, the monomer that is first polymerized is of the formula:



[0046] After the polymerization of the above monomer, the second monomer that is polymerized thereon is a monomer of the formula:



[0047] The first monomer and the second monomer can be an exo or endo steroechemical configuration. In an embodiment, the first and second monomers are of the exo configuration, e.g., a monomer having the exo isomer at 98% or higher.

[0048] In the first and second monomers, R1 and R2 are the same as described above for the block copolymer of formula (I) or (II). The first and second monomers are (oxa)norbornene (di)carboxylic imide derived monomers. The monomers can be prepared by any suitable method, for example, starting from maleimide and furan via a Diels-Alder reaction, illustrated below:



[0049] The first monomer can be synthesized via Mitsunobu Coupling reaction, as illustrated below:



[0050] Alternatively, the first monomer can be synthesized by the reaction of N-triethyleneglycol monomethylethermaleimide with furan via Diels-Alder reaction.

[0051] The second monomer can be synthesized via Mitsunobu Coupling, as illustrated below:



[0052] Alternatively, the second monomer can be synthesized by the reaction of exo-7-oxanorbornene-5,6-dicarboxyanhydride with n-hexadecylamine.

[0053] The polymerization of the monomers is carried out by ring-opening olefin metathesis polymerization (ROMP), in which a cyclic olefin monomer is polymerized or copolymerized by ring-opening of the cyclic olefin monomer. Typically, a transition metal catalyst containing a carbene ligand mediates the metathesis reaction.

[0054] Any suitable ROMP catalyst can be used, for example, Grubbs' first, second, and third generation catalysts, Umicore, Hoveyda-Grubbs, Schrock, and Schrock-Hoveyda catalysts can be employed. Examples of such catalysts include the following:





















[0055] In an embodiment, Grubbs' third generation catalysts are particularly suitable due to their advantages such as stability in air, tolerance to multiple functional groups, and/or fast polymerization initiation and propagation rates. In addition, with the Grubbs' third generation catalysts, the end groups can be engineered to accommodate any compatible groups, and the catalyst can be recycled readily. An example of such a catalyst is:



[0056] The above third generation Grubbs catalyst (G2) may be obtained commercially or prepared from a Grubbs second generation catalyst as follows:



[0057] The first monomer and the second monomer are polymerized sequentially to obtain the diblock copolymer precursor. In accordance with the invention, any one of the two monomers can be polymerized first. For example, the first monomer can be polymerized first, followed by the second monomer. Alternatively, the second monomer can be polymerized first, followed by the first monomer.

[0058] Typically, the monomers have a chemical purity of at least 95%, preferably 99% or greater, and more preferably 99.9% or greater. It is preferred that the monomers are free of impurities that will interfere with the polymerization, e.g., impurities that will affect the ROMP catalyst. Examples of such impurities include amines, thiols, acids, phosphines, and N-substituted maleimides.

[0059] The polymerization of the monomers is conducted in a suitable solvent, for example, solvents generally used for conducting ROMP polymerizations. Examples of suitable solvents include aromatic hydrocarbons such as benzene, toluene, and xylene, aliphatic hydrocarbons such as n-pentane, hexane, and heptane, alicylic hydrocarbons such as cyclohexane, and halogenated hydrocarbons such as dichloromethane, dichloroethane, dichloroethylene, tetrachloroethane, chlorobenzene, dichlorobenzene, and trichlorobenzene, as well as mixtures thereof.

[0060] The monomer concentration can be in the range of 1 to 50 wt%, preferably 2 to 45 wt%, and more preferably 3 to 40 wt %.

[0061] The polymerization can be carried out at any suitable temperature, for example, from -20 to +100 °C, preferably 10 to 80 °C.

[0062] The polymerization can be carried out for any time suitable to obtain the appropriate chain length of each of the blocks, which can be from about 1 minute to 100 hours.

[0063] The amount of ROMP catalyst can be chosen in any suitable amount. For example, the molar ratio of the catalyst to the monomer can be about 1:10 to about 1:1000, preferably about 1:50 to 1:500, and more preferably about 1:100 to about 1:200. For example, the molar ratio of the catalyst to the monomer could be 1:n and 1:m, where n and m are the average degrees of polymerization.

[0064] After the polymerization of the two monomers, the chain end of the diblock copolymer is terminated by adding an optionally substituted alkyl vinyl ether to the polymerization mixture.

[0065] The resulting diblock copolymer precursor can be hydrogenated to obtain a block copolymer of formula (I) or (II). Hydrogenation can be carried out by any suitable technique, for example, by the use of hydrogen gas and a catalyst. Any suitable catalyst, heterogeneous or homogeneous, can be used. Examples of heterogeneous catalysts include Raney nickel, palladium-on-charcoal, NaBH4-reduced nickel, platinum metal or its oxide, rhodium, ruthenium, NaH-RONa-Ni(OAc)2, and zinc oxide. Examples of homogeneous catalysts include chlorotris(triphenylphosphine)rhodium or Wilkinson's catalyst, and chlorotris(triphenylphosphine)hydridoruthenium (II).

[0066] Preferably, the diblock copolymer is hydrogenated by the use of hydrogen gas and a hydrogenation catalyst, for example, a G2 catalyst. Complete hydrogenation would produce a hydrogenated diblock copolymer. The degree of hydrogenation can be controlled to obtain partially hydrogenated block copolymer, for example, poly(M1xHM1n-x/M2HM2m-y) where M1 is the first monomer and HM1 is the hydrogenated first monomer, and M2 is the second monomer and HM2 is the hydrogenated second monomer. x and y represent the number of unhydrogenated monomers. n-x and m-y represent the number of hydrogenated monomers. When partial hydrogenation is carried out, the resulting block copolymer is a multiblock copolymer, e.g., a triblock or a tetrablock copolymer.

[0067] The block copolymer of formula (I) or (II) can be isolated by any suitable technique, for example, precipitation with a nonsolvent.

[0068] The homopolymer formed during the preparation of the diblock copolymer precursor and the block copolymer of the invention can be characterized for its molecular weight and molecular weight distribution by any known techniques. For example, a MALS-GPC technique can be employed. The technique uses a mobile phase to elute, via a high pressure pump, a polymer solution through a bank of columns packed with a stationary phase. The stationary phase separates the polymer sample according to the chain size followed by detecting the polymer by three different detectors. A series of detectors can be employed, e.g., an Ultraviolet detector (UV-detector), followed by a multi-angle laser light scattering detector (MALS-detector), which in turn, is followed by a refractive index detector (RI-detector) in a row. The UV-detector measures the polymer light absorption at 254 nm wavelength; the MALS-detector measures the scattered light from polymer chains relative to mobile phase.

[0069] The block copolymers, particularly the diblock copolymers, of the invention are highly monodisperse. For example, the copolymers have an Mw/Mn of 1.01 to 1.2, preferably 1.05 to 1.10.

[0070] The present invention further provides a porous membrane comprising a block copolymer described above. The block copolymer can be dissolved in a suitable solvent system. For example, the solvent system includes a solvent or a mixture of solvents selected from dichloromethane, 1-chloropentane, chloroform, 1,1-dichloroethane, N,N-dimethylformamide (DMF), N,N-dimethylacetamide (DMA), N-methylpyrrolidone (NMP), dimethylsulfoxide (DMSO), tetrahydrofuran (THF), 1,3-dioxane, and 1,4-dioxane.

[0071] The polymer solution is cast as a thin film on a suitable substrate by any suitable method, for example, spin coating, hybrid casting, or spray coating. For example, in hybrid casting, the solvent is allowed to evaporate from the thin film so that the diblock copolymer undergoes self-assembly into membranes having nanostructures. The coating which contains nanostructures is allowed to undergo phase inversion by immersing it in a nonsolvent such as isopropanol, pentane, or hexane, or a mixture containing isopropanol, DMSO, and/or water. The cross-section of a membrane according to an embodiment of the invention is illustrated in Fig. 2 and is characterized by a thin nanoporous layer at the top where the polymer assumes a cylindrical morphology, which is supported by a porous polymer layer of random morphology. Such a membrane can be cast by hybrid casting.

[0072] Alternatively, the polymer solution can be spin coated on a substrate such as glass plate or silicon wafer. The wet film is annealed in a solvent vapor, e.g., dichloromethane vapor, for a period of about 1 hr to about 3 days or more in order for the polymer to self-assemble into an ordered structure.

[0073] Fig. 3 depicts an (Atomic Force Micrograph) AFM image of a self-assembled structure in accordance with an embodiment of the invention. The self-assembled structure was prepared by spin coating a solution of a diblock copolymer on glass surface for 90 sec at 2000 rpm and annealing the resulting thin film in dichloromethane (DCM) vapor for 40 h. Fig. 4 depicts the line profile extracted from Fig. 3, showing periodicity.

[0074] A porous membrane can be prepared from the self-assembled structure via confined swelling leading to the generation of pores. Confined swelling is effected by an annealing step, which could be carried out either by exposing the self-assembled structure to a solvent vapor or by soaking in a liquid solvent.

[0075] A porous structure can be generated from the self-assembled structure, particularly one with cylindrical morphology, via a confined swelling step, which is carried by annealing. The annealing step could be done in either a solvent vapor or soaking in liquid solvent. The solvent should be a good solvent for the minor volume fraction block that forms the cylinder core and non-solvent for the major volume block forming the matrix. While not intending to be held to any theory or mechanism, it is believed that, as the self-assembled structure is annealed the cylinder core becomes swollen by the solvent, leading to an increase of the cylinder volume. As the cylinder cores spread outside the matrix surface, the spreading forces the cylinders to create pores. The matrix thickness also increases.

[0076] Examples of solvents that can be used for the annealing include tetrahydrofuran (THF), butyacetate, ethylactate, methylethylketone, and acetone. The solvent or mixture of solvents can be at any suitable temperature, for example, from ambient temperature, for example, 20 °C to 25 °C, to elevated temperatures, such as up to 40 °C, 50 °C, 60 °C, 70 °C, 80 °C, or 90 °C.

[0077] In accordance with an embodiment of the invention, the porous membrane is a nanoporous membrane, for example, a membrane having pores of diameter between 1 nm and 100 nm.

[0078] Membranes according to embodiments of the invention can be used in a variety of applications, including, for example, diagnostic applications (including, for example, sample preparation and/or diagnostic lateral flow devices), ink jet applications, filtering fluids for the pharmaceutical industry, filtering fluids for medical applications (including for home and/or for patient use, e.g., intravenous applications, also including, for example, filtering biological fluids such as blood (e.g., to remove leukocytes)), filtering fluids for the electronics industry (e.g., filtering photoresist fluids in the microelectronics industry), filtering fluids for the food and beverage industry, clarification, filtering antibody- and/or protein-containing fluids, filtering nucleic acid-containing fluids, cell detection (including in situ), cell harvesting, and/or filtering cell culture fluids. Alternatively, or additionally, membranes according to embodiments of the invention can be used to filter air and/or gas and/or can be used for venting applications (e.g., allowing air and/or gas, but not liquid, to pass therethrough). Membranes according to embodiments of the inventions can be used in a variety of devices, including surgical devices and products, such as, for example, ophthalmic surgical products.

[0079] In accordance with embodiments of the invention, the membrane can have a variety of configurations, including planar, flat sheet, pleated, tubular, spiral, and hollow fiber.

[0080] Membranes according to embodiments of the invention are typically disposed in a housing comprising at least one inlet and at least one outlet and defining at least one fluid flow path between the inlet and the outlet, wherein at least one inventive membrane or a filter including at least one inventive membrane is across the fluid flow path, to provide a filter device or filter module. In an embodiment, a filter device is provided comprising a housing comprising an inlet and a first outlet, and defining a first fluid flow path between the inlet and the first outlet; and at least one inventive membrane or a filter comprising at least one inventive membrane, the inventive membrane or filter comprising at least one inventive membrane being disposed in the housing across the first fluid flow path.

[0081] Preferably, for crossflow applications, at least one inventive membrane or filter comprising at least one inventive membrane is disposed in a housing comprising at least one inlet and at least two outlets and defining at least a first fluid flow path between the inlet and the first outlet, and a second fluid flow path between the inlet and the second outlet, wherein the inventive membrane or filter comprising at least one inventive membrane is across the first fluid flow path, to provide a filter device or filter module. In an illustrative embodiment, the filter device comprises a crossflow filter module, the housing comprising an inlet, a first outlet comprising a concentrate outlet, and a second outlet comprising a permeate outlet, and defining a first fluid flow path between the inlet and the first outlet, and a second fluid flow path between the inlet and the second outlet, wherein at least one inventive membrane or filter comprising at least one inventive membrane is disposed across the first fluid flow path.

[0082] The filter device or module may be sterilizable. Any housing of suitable shape and providing an inlet and one or more outlets may be employed.

[0083] The housing can be fabricated from any suitable rigid impervious material, including any impervious thermoplastic material, which is compatible with the fluid being processed. For example, the housing can be fabricated from a metal, such as stainless steel, or from a polymer, e.g., transparent or translucent polymer, such as an acrylic, polypropylene, polystyrene, or a polycarbonate resin.

[0084] The following examples further illustrate the invention but, of course, should not be construed as in any way limiting its scope.

EXAMPLE 1



[0085] This example provides the materials used in the preparation of the monomers and polymers.

[0086] Maleimide, furan, diisopropylazodicarboxylate (DIAD), triphenylphosphine (Ph3P), 1-haxadecanol, tetrahydrofuran (THF), ethyl acetate, N-phenylmaleimide, acetonitrile, methanol, Grubbs second generation catalyst, 3-bromopyridine, and pentane were obtained from Sigma-Aldrich Co. and used without further treatment. Dichloropentane, also obtained from Sigma-Aldrich Co., was treated with basic alumina before use.

EXAMPLE 2



[0087] This example illustrates the preparation of exo-7-oxanorbornene-5,6-dicarboxyimide (C1), an intermediate in the preparation of the first and second monomers in accordance with an embodiment of the invention.

[0088] In a clean 500 mL round bottom flask (RBF) equipped with magnetic stirring bar, furan (21.0 g, 309 mmol) was added to a solution of maleimide (25 g, 258 mmol) in 250 mL of ethyl acetate. The mixture was heated at 90 °C for 30 h. C1 was obtained as white precipitate from solution upon washing with ether (100 mL, 3X) and filtration. The white solid was dried under vacuum at room temperature for 24 h. C1 was obtained as a pure exo-isomer in yield of 29 g, 68%. 1H-NMR (300MHz, CDCl3): δ (ppm) 8.09 (s, 1H), 6.53 (s, 2H), 5.32 (s, 2H), 2.89 (s, 2H).

EXAMPLE 3



[0089] This example illustrates the preparation of dichloro[1,3-bis(2,4,6-trimethylphenyl)-2-imidazolidinylidene](benzylidene)bis(3-bromopyridine)ruthenium(II) (G3) catalyst.

[0090] The second generation Grubbs catalyst (G2) illustrated above (1.0 g, 1.18 mmol) was mixed with 3-bromopyridine (1.14 mL, 11.8 mmol) in 50 mL flask. Upon stirring at room temperature for 5 min, the red mixture turned into bright green. Pentane (40 mL) was added with stirring for 15 minutes and a green solid was obtained. The mixture was cooled in the freezer for 24 h and filtered under vacuum. The resulting G3 catalyst, a green solid, was washed with cold pentane and dried under vacuum at room temperature to give a yield of 0.9 g, 88% yield.

EXAMPLE 4



[0091] This example illustrates the preparation of a first monomer in accordance with an embodiment of the invention, exo-7-oxanorbornene-N- triethyleneglycolmonemethylether-5,6-dicarboxyimide).

[0092] A 1L round-bottom flask was charged with exo-7-oxanorbornene-5,6-dicarboxyimide (82.6 g; 0.5 mol), triethyleneglycol monomethyl ether (70.4 mL; 0.45 mol) and triphenylphosphine (144.3 g; 0.55 mol). The contents were vigorously stirred with anhydrous tetrahydrofuran (650 mL) until all the solids dissolved. The mixture was cooled in an ice-bath, followed by the drop-wise addition of diethyl azodicarboxylate (87 mL; 0.55 mol) diluted with anhydrous tetrahydrofuran (50 mL), while maintaining vigorous stirring and ice cooling. The reaction mixture was allowed to slowly warm up to ambient temperature and stirring continued for 24-48 h. Tetrahydrofuran was removed by rotary evaporation and the concentrate was diluted with diethyl ether (1L) and the resulting slurry was stirred at the ambient temperature for 4 h. The insoluble solids were filtered off, washed with diethyl ether (2 x 150 mL) and the filtrate and washes were combined and concentrated by rotary evaporation. The resulting residue was diluted with distilled water (750mL) with vigorous stirring. The precipitate was filtered off, washed with water (2 x 75 mL) and the filtrate and washes were combined and extracted with diethyl ether (4 x 200 mL). The aqueous layer was then saturated by adding solid NaCl followed by extraction with dichloromethane (5 x 200mL). The ethereal and dichloromethane extracts were analyzed by TLC and the fractions deemed sufficiently pure were pooled, dried with anhydrous magnesium sulfate, filtered and concentrated to constant weight. The obtained yellowish viscous liquid was judged by the NMR analysis to be sufficiently pure for subsequent polymerizations. Product yield was 81.4g (60%). 1H-NMR (300MHz, CDCl3): 6.51 (s, 2H), 5.26 (s, 2H), 3.65-3.72 (m, 2H), 3.55-3.62 (m, 8H), 3.51-3.54 (m, 2H), 3.37 (s, 3H), 2.87 (s, 2H).

EXAMPLE 5



[0093] This example illustrates the preparation of a second monomer in accordance with an embodiment of the invention, exo-7-oxanorbornene-N-hexadecyl-5,6-dicarboxyimide.

[0094] In a clean 500 mL RBF equipped with a magnetic stirring bar, a mixture of exo-7-oxanorbornene-5,6-dicarboxyimide (C1) (10 g, 61 mmol), Ph3P (23.84 g, 91 mmol), and 1-hexadecanol (17.6 g, 72.7 mmol) were dissolved in anhydrous THF (130 mL) under a stream of dry nitrogen gas. The solution was cooled in an ice bath. DIAD (22.1 g, 109.3 mmol) was added from dropping funnel drop wise to the cooled solution. The reaction mixture was allowed to warm up to room temperature and stirred for 24 h. THF was removed by rotary evaporation till dryness to obtain white solid. The monomer was obtained from the crude as white solid upon crystallization from Methanol (2X) and drying at room temperature under vacuum for 24 h (yield of 18.6 g, 80%). 1H-NMR (300MHz, CDCl3): δ (ppm) 6.5 (s, 2H), 5.26 (s, 2H), 5.32 (s, 2H), 3.45 (t, 2H), 2.82 (s, 2H), 1.56-1.38 (m, 2H), 1.28-1.1 (m, 26H), 0.88 (t, 3H).

EXAMPLE 6



[0095] This example illustrates the preparation of a diblock copolymer precursor of the diblock copolymer in accordance with an embodiment of the invention.

[0096] The Grubbs 3rd generation (G3) catalyst illustrated in Example 3 (18.94 mg, 0.02 mmol) was weighed in a 40 mL vial equipped with a fluoropolymer resin-silicone septa open-top cap. The G3 was dissolved in argon-degassed DCM (10 mL) and transferred via cannula to a clean 1L RBF equipped with stirring bar. A solution of the monomer from Example 4 (1.0 g, 3.21 mmol) in DCM (5 mL) was degassed with argon and transferred into the G3 solution and shirred for 70 minutes. An aliquot of 1-2 mL of the polymer block formed was taken after 65 minutes for molecular weight characterization. A solution of the monomer from Example 5 (4.0 g, 16.6 mmol) in DCM (110 mL) was degassed with argon and transferred into the growing polymer block solution and was stirred for another 60 minutes. Ethylvinylether (2mL) was added to the yellow solution of the diblock copolymer to terminate the reaction and allowed to stir for another 20 min. The resulting polymer was precipitated in MeOH (2 L, 2X) to recover the block copolymer precursor as a white solid. The block copolymer precursor was filtered and dried under vacuum at room temperature. 1H-NMR (300MHz, CDCl3): δ (ppm) 7.7-7.25 (m, 3H, phenyl), 7.25-6.8 (m, 2H, phenyl), 6.3-5.9 (broad, 1H), 5.9-5.3 (broad m, 1H), 5.3-4.9 (broad m, 1H), 4.9-4.2 (broad m, 1H), 4.0-2.90 (broad m, 19H).

EXAMPLE 7



[0097] This example illustrates a method of hydrogenating the diblock copolymer precursor obtained in Example 6 to obtain a diblock copolymer in accordance with an embodiment of the invention.

[0098] The diblock copolymer precursor was dissolved in DCM (1.75 g in 250 mL). The Grubbs' 2nd generation catalyst (90 mg, 106 mmol) with silica gel substrate (1 g, 40-63 microns flash chromatography particle) and the precursor solution were transferred to a Parr high pressure reactor and the reactor was charged with hydrogen gas (1500 - 1600 psi). The reactor was heated to 50 °C for 24 h. The resulting polymer mixture was filtered and precipitated into methanol (2X) to obtain white precipitate (yield 1.6 g, 90%). 1H-NMR (300MHz, CDCl3): δ (ppm) 3.5-4.0 (broad m, 4H), 3.5-3.0 (broad m, 4H), 2.5-1.0 (broad m, 23H), 1.4-1.0 (s, 30H), 0.88 (t s, 3H).

EXAMPLE 8



[0099] This example illustrates a method to characterize the diblock copolymer precursor and the diblock copolymer of the present invention involving the Multi-angle Laser Light Scattering and gel permeation chromatography (GPC).

[0100] The homopolymer and the diblock copolymers obtained in Example 6 was characterized for their molecular weight and molecular weight distribution properties by the MALS-GPC technique under the following conditions:

Mobile phase: Dichloromethane (DCM).

Mobile phase temperature: 30 °C.

UV wavelength: 245 nm.

Columns used: three PSS SVD Lux analytical columns (Styrene-divinylbenzene copolymer network), columns have stationary phase beads of 5 micrometers and has the pore sizes of 1000 A, 100,000 A, and 1000,000 A, and guard columns.

Flow rate: 1 mL/min.

GPC system: waters HPLC alliance e2695 system with UV and RI detectors

MALS system: The DAWN HELEOS 8 system with 8 detectors operating a laser at 664.5 nm.



[0101] The chromatograms are depicted in Fig. 1. The diblock copolymer precursor 2 eluted earlier than homopolymer 1 since it had a higher molecular weight. The diblock copolymer 3 of the invention eluted earlier than homopolymer 1 since it had a higher molecular weight.

EXAMPLE 9



[0102] This example illustrates a method of preparing a self-assembled structure from the diblock copolymer in accordance with an embodiment of the invention.

[0103] A 1.0 % mass per volume solution of the diblock copolymer from Example 6 was prepared in a mixture of N,N-dimethylformamide (DMF) and tetrahydrofuran (THF) of 70/30 volume % composition. The solution was stirred at room temperature for 3 days before use.

[0104] A thin film of each of the above polymer solution was spin coated on a glass substrate at a spinning rate of 2000 rpm. The porous membrane was prepared by spin coating a solution of the copolymer on glass surface for 90 sec at 2000 rpm and annealing the resulting thin film in dichloromethane (DCM) vapor for 40 h.

[0105] Fig. 3 depicts the AFM phase image of the surface of the self-assembled structure obtained.

[0106] A porous membrane can be prepared from the self-assembled structure by annealing the structure in a solvent vapor or soaking in a solvent.

[0107] All references, including publications, patent applications, and patents, cited herein are hereby incorporated by reference to the same extent as if each reference were individually and specifically indicated to be incorporated by reference and were set forth in its entirety herein.

[0108] The use of the terms "a" and "an" and "the" and "at least one" and similar referents in the context of describing the invention (especially in the context of the following claims) are to be construed to cover both the singular and the plural, unless otherwise indicated herein or clearly contradicted by context. The use of the term "at least one" followed by a list of one or more items (for example, "at least one of A and B") is to be construed to mean one item selected from the listed items (A or B) or any combination of two or more of the listed items (A and B), unless otherwise indicated herein or clearly contradicted by context. The terms "comprising," "having," "including," and "containing" are to be construed as open-ended terms (i.e., meaning "including, but not limited to,") unless otherwise noted. Recitation of ranges of values herein are merely intended to serve as a shorthand method of referring individually to each separate value falling within the range, unless otherwise indicated herein, and each separate value is incorporated into the specification as if it were individually recited herein. All methods described herein can be performed in any suitable order unless otherwise indicated herein or otherwise clearly contradicted by context. The use of any and all examples, or exemplary language (e.g., "such as") provided herein, is intended merely to better illuminate the invention and does not pose a limitation on the scope of the invention unless otherwise claimed. No language in the specification should be construed as indicating any non-claimed element as essential to the practice of the invention.

[0109] Preferred embodiments of this invention are described herein, including the best mode known to the inventors for carrying out the invention. Variations of those preferred embodiments may become apparent to those of ordinary skill in the art upon reading the foregoing description. The inventors expect skilled artisans to employ such variations as appropriate, and the inventors intend for the invention to be practiced otherwise than as specifically described herein. Accordingly, this invention includes all modifications and equivalents of the subject matter recited in the claims appended hereto as permitted by applicable law. Moreover, any combination of the above-described elements in all possible variations thereof is encompassed by the invention unless otherwise indicated herein or otherwise clearly contradicted by context.


Claims

1. A block copolymer of the formula (I) or (II):



wherein:

R1 is a poly(alkyleneoxide) group of the formula, -(CHR-CH2-O)p-R', wherein p = 2-6, R is H or methyl, and R' is H, a C1-C6 alkyl group, or a C3-C11 cycloalkyl group;

R2 is a C1-C22 alkyl group or a C3-C11 cycloalkyl group, each optionally substituted with a substituent selected from halo, alkoxy, alkylcarbonyl, alkoxycarbonyl, amido, and nitro;

one of R3 and R4 is a C6-C14 aryl group, optionally substituted with a substituent selected from hydroxy, halo, amino, and nitro, and the other of R3 and R4 is a C1-C22 alkoxy group, optionally substituted with a substituent selected from carboxy, amino, mercapto, alkynyl, alkenyl, halo, azido, and heterocyclyl; and

n and m are independently 2 to about 2000; 0 < x ≤ n and 0 < y ≤ m.


 
2. The block copolymer of claim 1, wherein R is H.
 
3. The block copolymer of claim 1 or 2, wherein p is 3-6.
 
4. The block copolymer of any one of claims 1-3, wherein R' is a C1-C6 alkyl group, preferably
wherein R' is methyl.
 
5. The block copolymer of any one of claims 1-4, wherein R2 is a C10-C18 alkyl group, optionally substituted with a substituent selected from hydroxy, nitro, amino, halo, alkoxy, alkylcarbonyl, alkoxycarbonyl, amido, and nitro.
 
6. The block copolymer of any one of claims 1-5, wherein R2 is a C16 alkyl group, optionally substituted with a substituent selected from hydroxy, nitro, amino, halo, alkoxy, alkylcarbonyl, alkoxycarbonyl, amido, and nitro.
 
7. The block copolymer of any one of claims 1-6, wherein R3 is phenyl.
 
8. The block copolymer of any one of claims 1-7, wherein R4 is a C1-C6 alkoxy group.
 
9. The block copolymer of any one of claims 1-8, wherein n is about 30 to about 350 and m is about 75 to about 900, preferably
wherein n is about 70 to about 200 and m is about 180 to about 500.
 
10. The block copolymer of any one of claims 1-9, which has the following structure:


 
11. A method of preparing a block copolymer of any one of claims 1-10, comprising:

(i) polymerizing one of the two monomers of the formulas:

with a ring opening metathesis polymerization (ROMP) catalyst to obtain a ring-opened polymer having a living chain end;

(ii) polymerizing the other of the two monomers on the living end of the ring-opened polymer obtained in (i) to obtain a diblock copolymer having a living end;

(iii) terminating the living end of the diblock copolymer obtained in (ii) with an optionally substituted alkyl vinyl ether; and

(iv) hydrogenating the diblock copolymer obtained in (iii) to obtain a block copolymer of formula (I) or (II).


 
12. The method of claim 11, wherein the ROMP catalyst is of the formula:


 
13. The method of claim 11 or 12, wherein hydrogenation is carried out in the presence of a Grubbs 2nd generation catalyst.
 
14. A self-assembled structure comprising a block copolymer of any one of claims 1-13.
 
15. A porous membrane prepared from the self-assembled structure of claim 14.
 




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Search report