The systematic investigation of the synthesis of polystyrene-b-poly(N,N,N-trimethylammoniumethylene acrylamide chloride) was accomplished by employing both polystyrene-b-poly(tert-butyl acrylate) and its hydrolyzed derivative, polystyrene-b-poly(acrylic acid) (PS-b-PAA) as starting materials, and coupling them with N,N-dimethylethylenediamine (DMED). The various reactions and intermediates we examined include aluminum amides, acid chlorides, and imides derived from carbodiimides, all in a variety of solvents. We present below our investigation of several synthetic routes and conclude that the carbodiimide coupling of PS-b-PAA with DMED followed by quaternization and counterion exchange is the most effective method of achieving the target. A brief discussion of the merits of each procedure in the context of block copolymers is given, and IR spectroscopic evidence for the postpolymerization synthesis of the poly(acrylamide) block is provided.
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