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Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy in Chemistry (PhD)

College, School or Department Name

Department of Chemistry

First Advisor

Patricia Heiden


Thermo-responsive materials have been of interest for many years, and have been studied mostly as thermally stimulated drug delivery vehicles. Recently acrylate and methacrylates with pendant ethylene glycol methyl ethers been studied as thermo responsive materials. This work explores thermo response properties of hybrid nanoparticles of one of these methacrylates (DEGMA) and a block copolymer with one of the acrylates (OEGA), with gold nanoparticle cores of different sizes. We were interested in the effects of gold core size, number and type of end groups that anchored the chains to the gold cores, and location of bonding sites on the thermo-response of the polymer. To control the number and location of anchoring groups we using a type of controlled radical polymerization called Reversible Addition Fragmentation Transfer (RAFT) Polymerization. Smaller gold cores did not show the thermo responsive behavior of the polymer but the gold cores did seem to self-assemble. Polymer anchored to larger gold cores did show thermo responsivity. The anchoring end group did not alter the thermoresponsivity but thiol-modified polymers stabilized gold cores less well than chains anchored by dithioester groups, allowing gold cores to grow larger. Use of multiple bonding groups stabilized the gold core. Using block copolymers we tested the effects of number of thiol groups and the distance between them. We observed that the use of multiple anchoring groups on the block copolymer with a sufficiently large gold core did not prevent thermo responsive behavior of the polymer to be detected which allows a new type of thermo-responsive hybrid nanoparticle to be used and studied for new applications.