High Pressure 'Living' Free-Radical Polymerization of Styrene in the Presence of RAFT
M. J. Monteiro, R. Bussels, S. Beuermann and M. Buback
Australian Journal of Chemistry
55(7) 433 - 437
Published: 13 September 2002
Reversible addition-fragmentation chain transfer (RAFT) polymerization of styrene was studied at high pressure, employing two dithioester RAFT agents with an isopropylcyano (5) and a cumyl (6) leaving group, respectively. The high-pressure reaction resulted in low polydispersity polymer. It was found that controlled polymerizations can be performed at increased pressures with a high degree of monomer conversion, which signifies that high-pressure polymerizations can be utilized for the production of higher molecular weight polystyrene of controlled microstructure. Retardation of styrene polymerization was also observed at high pressure in the presence of RAFT agents (5) and (6). It is postulated that the retarding potential of these two RAFT agents is associated with an intermediate radical termination mechanism. High-pressure free-radical polymerizations open the way to producing living polymers with high rates, and thus lower impurities such as 'dead' polymer that are formed through bimolecular termination reactions.
Full text doi:10.1071/CH02079
© CSIRO 2002