Poly(ethylene oxide) (PEO) monochloro macroinitiators or PEO telechelic macroinitiators (Cl‐PEO‐Cl) were prepared from monohydroxyfunctional or dihydroxyfunctional PEO and 2‐chloro propionyl chloride. These macroinitiators were applied to the atom transfer radical polymerization of styrene (S). The polymerization was carried out in bulk at 140°C and catalyzed by Copper(I) chloride (CuCl) in the presence of 2,2′‐bipyridine (bipy) ligand (CuCl/bipy). The amphiphilic copolymers were either A‐B diblock or A‐B‐A triblock type, where A block is polystyrene (PS) and B block is PEO. The living nature of the polymerizations leads to block copolymers with narrow molecular weight distribution (1.072 < Mw/Mn < 1.392) for most of the macroinitiators synthesized. The macroinitiator itself and the corresponding block copolymers were characterized by FTIR, 1H NMR, and SEC analysis. By adjusting the content of the PEO blocks it was possible to prepare water‐soluble/dispersible block copolymers. The obtained block copolymers were used to control paper surface characteristics by surface treatment with small amount of chemicals. The printability of the treated paper was evaluated with polarity factors, liquid absorption measurements, and felt pen tests. The adsorption of such copolymers at the solid/liquid interface is relevant to the wetting and spreading of liquids on hydrophobic/hydrophilic surfaces. From our study, it is observed that the chain length of the hydrophilic block and the amount of hydrophobic block play an important role in modification of the paper surface. Among all of block copolymers synthesized, the PS‐b‐PEO‐b‐PS containing 10 wt % PS was found to retard water absorption considerably.
- amphiphilic block copolymers
- atom transfer radical polymerization
- poly(ethylene oxide)chloro telechelic macroinitiator
- contact angle
- felt pen