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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Controlled radical polymerization of acrylates regulated by visible light

  • Author(s): Treat, NJ
  • Fors, BP
  • Kramer, JW
  • Christianson, M
  • Chiu, CY
  • Alaniz, JRD
  • Hawker, CJ
  • et al.

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The controlled radical polymerization of a variety of acrylate monomers is reported using an Ir-catalyzed visible light mediated process leading to well-defined homo-, random, and block copolymers. The polymerizations could be efficiently activated and deactivated using light while maintaining a linear increase in molecular weight with conversion and first order kinetics. The robust nature of the fac-[Ir(ppy)3] catalyst allows carboxylic acids to be directly introduced at the chain ends through functional initiators or along the backbone of random copolymers (controlled process up to 50 mol % acrylic acid incorporation). In contrast to traditional ATRP procedures, low polydispersity block copolymers, poly(acrylate)-b-(acrylate), poly(methacrylate)-b-(acrylate), and poly(acrylate)-b-(methacrylate), could be prepared with no monomer sequence requirements. These results illustrate the increasing generality and utility of light mediated Ir-catalyzed polymerization as a platform for polymer synthesis. © 2014 American Chemical Society.

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