Poly(vinyl alcohol) (PVA) is a water-soluble synthetic polymer well-known to effectively block the recrystallization of ice. The effect of polymer chain architecture on the ice recrystallization inhibition (IRI) by PVA remains unexplored. In this work, the synthesis of PVA molecular bottlebrushes is described via a combination of atom-transfer radical polymerization and reversible addition-fragmentation chain-transfer polymerization. The facile preparation of the PVA bottlebrushes is performed via the selective hydrolysis of the chloroacetate esters of the poly(vinyl chloroacetate) (PVClAc) side chains of a PVClAc precursor bottlebrush. The IRI efficacy of the PVA bottlebrush is quantitatively compared to linear PVA. The results show that even if the PVA chains are densely grafted onto a rigid polymer backbone, the IRI activity of PVA is maintained, demonstrating the flexibility in PVA polymer chain architecture for the design of synthetic PVA-based ice growth inhibitors.
- controlled radical polymerization
- ice recrystallization inhibition
- molecular bottlebrush
- poly(vinyl alcohol)
- polymer architecture