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Title: Radical–radical coupling effects in the direct-growth grafting-through synthesis of bottlebrush polymers using RAFT and ROMP
The direct-growth technique was used to synthesize several macromonomers (MMs) employing reversible addition–fragmentation chain transfer (RAFT) polymerization by growing directly from a norbornene-functionalized chain transfer agent (CTA). We aimed to investigate the formation of bisnorbornenyl species resulting from radical termination by combination ( i.e. , coupling) during RAFT polymerization at different monomer conversion values in four types of monomers: styrene, tert -butyl acrylate, methyl methacrylate and N -acryloyl morpholine. Ring-opening metathesis polymerization (ROMP) of these MMs using Grubbs' 3rd generation catalyst (G3) at an MM : G3 ratio of 100 : 1 resulted in the formation of bottlebrush polymers. Analysis by size-exclusion chromatography (SEC) revealed high molar mass shoulders of varying intensities attributed to the incorporation of these bisnorbornenyl species to generate dimeric or higher-order bottlebrush polymer oligomers. The monomer type in the RAFT step heavily influenced the amount of these bottlebrush polymer dimers and oligomers, as did the monomer conversion value in the RAFT step: We found that the ROMP of polystyrene MMs with a target backbone degree of polymerization of 100 produced detectable coupling at ≥20% monomer conversion in the RAFT step, while it took ≥80% monomer conversion to observe coupling in the poly( tert -butyl acrylate) MMs. We did not detect more » coupling in the poly(methyl methacrylate) MMs, but broadening of the SEC peaks and an increase in dispersity occurred, suggesting the presence of metathesis-active alkene-containing chain ends created by disproportionation. Finally, poly( N -acryloyl morpholine) MMs, even when reaching 90% monomer conversion in the RAFT step, showed no detectable coupling in the bottlebrush polymers. These results highlight the importance of monomer choice and RAFT polymerization conditions in making MMs for ROMP grafting-through to make well-defined bottlebrush polymers. « less
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Journal Name:
Polymer Chemistry
Page Range or eLocation-ID:
5841 to 5851
Sponsoring Org:
National Science Foundation
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