Synthesis of block copolymers by the transformation of cationic polymerization into reversible atom transfer radical polymerization

Cianga I., HEPUZER Y., Serhatli E., YAGCI Y.

JOURNAL OF POLYMER SCIENCE PART A-POLYMER CHEMISTRY, vol.40, no.13, pp.2199-2208, 2002 (SCI-Expanded) identifier identifier


Azo-containing polytetrahydrofuran (PTHF) obtained by cationic polymerization was used as a macroinitiator in the reverse atom transfer radical polymerization (RATRP) of styrene and methyl acrylate in conjunction with CuCl2/2,2'-bipyridine as a catalyst. Diblock PTHF-polystyrene and PTHF-poly(methyl acrylate) were obtained after a two-step process. In the first step of the reaction, stable chlorine-end-capped PTHF was formed with the thermolysis of azo-linked PTHF at 65-70 degreesC in the presence of the catalyst. Heating the system at temperatures of 100-110 degreesC started the polymerization of the second monomer, which resulted in the formation of block copolymers. The decomposition behavior of the azo-linked PTHF and the structure of the block copolymers were determined by H-1 NMR and gel permeation chromatography (GPC). Kinetic studies and GPC analyses further confirmed the controlled/living nature of the RATRP initiated by the polymeric radicals. (C) 2002 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.