Australian Journal of Chemistry Australian Journal of Chemistry Society
An international journal for chemical science
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High Temperature Initiator-Free RAFT Polymerization of Methyl Methacrylate in a Microwave Reactor

Renzo M. Paulus A B , C. Remzi Becer A B C , Richard Hoogenboom B C D and Ulrich S. Schubert A B C D
+ Author Affiliations
- Author Affiliations

A Laboratory of Organic and Macromolecular Chemistry, Friedrich-Schiller-University Jena, Humboldtstrasse 10, 07743 Jena, Germany.

B Dutch Polymer Institute (DPI), PO Box 902, 5600 AX Eindhoven, the Netherlands.

C Laboratory of Macromolecular Chemistry and Nanoscience, Eindhoven University of Technology, PO Box 513, 5600 MB Eindhoven, the Netherlands.

D Corresponding authors. Email: r.hoogenboom@tue.nl; ulrich.schubert@uni-jena.de

Australian Journal of Chemistry 62(3) 254-259 https://doi.org/10.1071/CH09064
Submitted: 31 January 2009  Accepted: 27 February 2009   Published: 20 March 2009

Abstract

The reversible addition–fragmentation chain transfer (RAFT) polymerization of methyl methacrylate (MMA) was investigated under microwave irradiation. At first, a comparison was made between microwave and thermal heating for the RAFT polymerization of MMA with azobis(isobutyronitrile) (AIBN) as initiator and 2-cyano-2-butyldithiobenzoate (CBDB) as RAFT agent, revealing comparable polymerization kinetics indicating the absence of non-thermal microwave effects. Second, the CBDB-mediated RAFT polymerization of MMA was investigated at high temperatures (120°C, 150°C, and 180°C, respectively) in the absence of a radical initiator, showing a linear increase of the molar masses with conversion. The polydispersity indices remained below 1.5 up to 25% MMA conversion at 120°C and 150°C, indicating a controlled polymerization. This control over the polymerization was confirmed by the ability to control the molar masses by the concentration of RAFT agent.


Acknowledgement

The authors would like to thank the Dutch Polymer Institute and the Fonds der Chemischen Industrie for their financial support.


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