New Paper in Progress in Polymer Science!

Our review article entitled “Polymerization-induced microphase separation of a polymerization mixture into nanostructured block polymer materials” by Taeseok Oh, Suchan Cho, Changsu Yoo, Wonjune Yeo, Jinyeong Oh, and Myungeun Seo was published in Progress in Polymer Science. This review was submitted in response to the invitation to a special issue, “Rising Stars in Polymer Science.”

Dr. Seo and Prof. Marc Hillmyer at the University of Minnesota coined the term “polymerization-induced microphase separation (PIMS)” for the first time in 2012. They reported spontaneous microphase separation taking place during the RAFT copolymerization of styrene with divinylbenzene in the presence of polylactide-macro chain transfer agent in neat. Since the first report in Science (see the article here), the field has witnessed tremendous growth, particularly focusing on the facile access to the disordered bicontinuous morphology at the nanometer level with robust control over the length scale. Our group has also been actively exploring the realm of PIMS and demonstrated new opportunities, such as permselective membranes for battery applications and hierarchically porous polymers as heterogeneous catalyst supports.

This review provides a logical, appealing, and thorough walkthrough by discussing its historical background, mechanistic aspects, attainable material classes, and compatible polymerization methods. Applications of the PIMS materials and recent progress, such as 3D printing, were also covered. Finally, in the Conclusion section, we proposed challenges and opportunities in this field. The full paper is available at the following link:

This is one of the two first reviews on PIMS. The Cyrille Boyer group at the University of New South Wales wrote the other one (link). Both were published this year, reflecting the growing interest in material fabrication via PIMS and polymerization-induced methodologies in general.