Fluorescent and chemico-fluorescent responsive polymers from dithiomaleimide and dibromomaleimide functional monomers

Mathew P. Robin, Rachel K. O'Reilly
  • Chemical Science, January 2014, Royal Society of Chemistry
  • DOI: 10.1039/c4sc00753k

Simple fluorescent and pro-fluorescent monomers

What is it about?

In this paper we have developed some simple to use fluorescent and pro-fluorescent monomers for (controlled) radical polymerisation. These (meth)acrylate monomers contain the recently discovered dithiomaleimide (DTM) fluorophore. We demonstrate how to incorporate these monomers into a range of polymers (water soluble/insoluble, temperature responsive etc). The emission can be switched on either before or after the polymer synthesis, and can then be switched off again by a simple reaction.

Why is it important?

The dithiomaleimide (DTM) fluorophore has two cool properties. Firstly, it's tiny. The whole group is just nine atoms! (A maleimide ring with two sulfur atoms attached). This makes it very easy to work with and non-invasive as a fluorescent label. Secondly, it is highly resistant to self quenching. This means it has great molar emission and fluorescent lifetime. Now with this paper we've made it simple to tag polymers made by (controlled) radical polymerisation with this fluorescent label.

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The following have contributed to this page: Dr Mathew Robin