Study

Cell membranes can adopt highly curved and cubic shapes when exposed to harsh conditions such as food depletion. Accordingly, scientists have designed adaptable materials capable of undergoing conformational and chemical changes. This has been accomplished by self-organization of polymeric building blocks to produce a wide variety of nanostructures that are stable under equilibrium. Nevertheless, with the advancement of polymer science, fine tuning of the polymer architecture over spatial and temporal control has led to a new level of functionality, bringing artificial nanostructures to the level of biological materials. This thesis explores the possibility of creating a stimuli-responsive block copolymer that allows a reversible transition from unimers to nanostructures by modulating different environmental triggers. To achieve this, thermo- and pH-responsive polymeric building blocks have been synthesized, followed by a detailed study of their self-assembly properties.

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Keywords: 

Organic and polymer chemistry, nanostructure, living radical polymerization,

Supervisor name

Professor Michael Monteiro
Senior Group Leader
Monteiro Group

Supervisor email

m.monteiro@uq.edu.au