The supramolecular folding of amphiphilic heterograft copolymers equipped with dendritic pendants is investigated using a combination of proton nuclear magnetic resonance (1H NMR) spectroscopy, small-angle X-ray scattering, and circular dichroism spectroscopy. Hereto, the linear poly(ethylene glycol) pendants normally used to convey water compatibility are partially substituted with branched analogues. For one set of copolymers, second-generation polyglycerol dendrons are directly attached to the polymer backbone, while for the other a hydrophilic linker is placed in between. The results show that the branching of the hydrophilic pendants affects the local structure of the folded copolymer but does not influence the overall conformation and single-chain character of the folded copolymers in solution. All copolymers fold into 4–5 nm single-chain polymeric nanoparticles with a very compact spherical morphology, independent of the dendritic content of the copolymer. Intriguingly, the incorporation of the dendritic pendants affects the formation of a structured interior even at low incorporation ratios.
|Number of pages||11|
|Journal||Journal of Polymer Science, Part A: Polymer Chemistry|
|Publication status||Published - 1 Feb 2019|
- single-chain polymeric nanoparticle