Synthesis of NIPAAm-based polymer-grafted silica beads by surface-initiated ATRP using Me4Cyclam ligands and the thermo-responsive behaviors for lanthanide(III) ions

Ki Chul Park, Naokazu Idota, Takehiko Tsukahara*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

15 Citations (Scopus)


The applicability of atom transfer radical polymerization (ATRP) to the copolymerization of N-isopropylacrylamide (NIPAAm) with N-vinyl-2-pyrrolidone (NVP) was examined in CuCl/CuCl2-catalyst system using tris[2-(dimethylamino)ethyl]amine (Me6TREN) and 1,4,8,11-tetramethyl- 1,4,8,11-tetraazacyclotetradecane (Me4Cyclam) as ligands. In the Me6TREN system, less reactive NVP not only does not quantitatively copolymerize but also interferes with homopolymerization of NIPAAm units. In contrast, the Me4Cyclam system under heating was more active, although the controllability for polymer homogeneity is lower than Me 6TREN system. The application of active Me4Cyclam system to surface-initiated ATRP has successfully prepared silica beads surface-modified with NIPAAm copolymers of NVP and 4-vinylpyridine (VPy). The thermo-responsive behavior of surface-grafted NIPAAm-based polymers was investigated for lanthanide trivalent ions (Ln(III)) in different pH solutions. In the weak acidic solutions of pH = 5.4-5.6, all the surface-grafted polymers including poly(NIPAAm) exhibited only adsorption behavior with regular selectivity (Eu3+ > Sm3+ > Nd3+ > Ce3+ > La3+) below the phase-transition temperatures. In the more acidic solution of pH = 2.9, the surface-grafted poly(NIPAAm) and NVP copolymers exhibited adsorption and desorption behaviors below and above the phase-transition temperatures, while VPy copolymers exhibited only adsorption independent of temperature change. Furthermore, the adsorption capacity of all the surface-grafted polymers was deteriorated by the lowering of pH. The observed desorption and the deterioration of adsorption capacity suggest the weakening of adsorption strength for Ln(III) in low pH solutions. In this study, a possible adsorption/desorption mechanism of Ln(III) on surface-grafted NIPAAm-based polymers is discussed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)36-46
Number of pages11
JournalReactive and Functional Polymers
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2014
Externally publishedYes


  • 4-Vinylpyridine
  • ATRP
  • Lanthanide
  • N-Isopropylacrylamide
  • N-Vinyl-2-pyrrolidone

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Materials Chemistry
  • Polymers and Plastics
  • Chemistry(all)
  • Chemical Engineering(all)
  • Environmental Chemistry
  • Biochemistry


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