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J Am Chem Soc. 2011 Dec 14;133(49):19953-9. doi: 10.1021/ja2085349. Epub 2011 Nov 21.

EPR study of spin labeled brush polymers in organic solvents.

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Division of Chemistry and Chemical Engineering, California Institute of Technology, Pasadena, California 91125, USA.


Spin-labeled polylactide brush polymers were synthesized via ring-opening metathesis polymerization (ROMP), and nitroxide radicals were incorporated at three different locations of brush polymers: the end and the middle of the backbone, and the end of the side chains (periphery). Electron paramagnetic resonance (EPR) was used to quantitatively probe the macromolecular structure of brush polymers in dilute solutions. The peripheral spin-labels showed significantly higher mobility than the backbone labels, and in dimethylsulfoxide (DMSO), the backbone end labels were shown to be more mobile than the middle labels. Reduction of the nitroxide labels by a polymeric reductant revealed location-dependent reactivity of the nitroxide labels: peripheral nitroxides were much more reactive than the backbone nitroxides. In contrast, almost no difference was observed when a small molecule reductant was used. These results reveal that the dense side chains of brush polymers significantly reduce the interaction of the backbone region with external macromolecules, but allow free diffusion of small molecules.


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