A phosphonate coupling molecule containing a vinyl double bond was synthesized and anchored onto the surface of TiO2 nanoparticles. Diffuse reflectance infra-red (DRIFT) spectroscopy confirmed the presence of the coupling molecule on the particulate surface while thermogravimetric analysis revealed the coupling molecule covered 28% of the surface. Methyl methacrylate was free radically polymerized through the immobilized vinyl bond on the surface in the presence of the reversible additionfragmentation chain-transfer (RAFT) agent 4-cyanopentanoic acid dithiobenzoate using 2,2'-azobisisobutylnitrile (AIBN) as an initiator. DRIFT measurements confirmed the presence of methacrylate groups on the surface. Differential scanning calorimetry detected a weak glass transition for poly(methylmethacrylate) at ~65oC. Thermogravimetric analysis found that grafted PMMA accounted for 1.2% of the particle's mass. In addition, a synthetic route was developed for a novel phosphonatedithioester coupling molecule, with progress made towards its synthesis.
Library of Congress Subject Headings
Addition polymerization; Phosphonates--Synthesis; Nanoparticles
Department, Program, or Center
School of Chemistry and Materials Science (COS)
Smith, Thomas - Chair
Lott, Joseph, "Reversible addition-fragmentation chain-transfer (RAFT) polymerization in grafting polymer chains from TiO2 nanoparticles" (2006). Thesis. Rochester Institute of Technology. Accessed from
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