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Chain-Growth Sulfur(VI) Fluoride Exchange Polycondensation: Molecular Weight Control and Synthesis of Degradable Polysulfates.

Abstract

Sulfur(VI) fluoride exchange (SuFEx) click chemistry has offered a facile and reliable approach to produce polysulfates and polysulfonates. However, the current SuFEx polymerization methods lack precise control of target molecular weight and dispersity. Herein, we report the first chain-growth SuFEx polycondensation process by exploiting the unique reactivity and selectivity of S-F bonds under SuFEx catalysis. Given the higher reactivity of iminosulfur oxydifluoride versus fluorosulfate, the chain-growth SuFEx polycondensation is realized by using an iminosulfur oxydifluoride-containing compound as the reactive chain initiator and deactivated AB-type aryl silyl ether-fluorosulfates bearing an electron-withdrawing group as monomers. When 1,8-diazabicyclo[5.4.0]undec-7-ene (DBU) was utilized as the polymerization catalyst, precise control over the polymer molecular weight and polydispersity was achieved. The resulting polymers possess great thermal stability but are easily degradable under mild acidic and basic conditions.

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