The rapid atom transfer radical polymerization (ATRP) of benzyl methacrylate (BnMA) at ambient temperature was used to synthesize block copolymers with styrene as the second monomer. Various block copolymers such as AB diblock, BAB symmetric and asymmetric triblock, and ABABA pentablock copolymers were synthesized in which the polymerization of one of the blocks namely BnMA was performed at ambient temperature. It is demonstrated that the block copolymerization can be performed in a controlled manner, regardless of the sequence of monomer addition via halogen exchange technique. Using this reaction condition, the composition (ratio) of one block (here BnMA) can be varied from 1 to 100. It is further demonstrated that in the multiblock copolymer syntheses involving styrene and benzyl methacrylate, it is better to start from the PS macroinitiator compared with PBnMA macroinitiator. The polymers synthesized are relatively narrow dispersed (<1.5). It is identified that the ATRP of BnMA is limited to certain molecular weights of the PS macroinitiator. Additionally, a preliminary report about the synthesis of the block copolymer of BnMA-methyl methacrylate (MMA), both at ambient temperature, is demonstrated. Subsequent deprotection of the benzyl group using Pd/C-H 2 results in methacrylic acid (MAA)-methyl methacrylate (MAA-MMA) amphiphilic block copolymer. GPC, IR, and NMR are used to characterize the synthesized polymers. © 2006 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.