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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Light-Mediated Atom Transfer Radical Polymerization of Semi-Fluorinated (Meth)acrylates: Facile Access to Functional Materials

  • Author(s): Discekici, EH
  • Anastasaki, A
  • Kaminker, R
  • Willenbacher, J
  • Truong, NP
  • Fleischmann, C
  • Oschmann, B
  • Lunn, DJ
  • de Alaniz, JR
  • Davis, TP
  • Bates, CM
  • Hawker, CJ
  • et al.

A highly efficient photomediated atom transfer radical polymerization protocol is reported for semi-fluorinated acrylates and methacrylates. Use of the commercially available solvent, 2-trifluoromethyl-2-propanol, optimally balances monomer, polymer, and catalyst solubility while eliminating transesterification as a detrimental side reaction. In the presence of UV irradiation and ppm concentrations of copper(II) bromide and Me6-TREN (TREN = tris(2-aminoethyl amine)), semi-fluorinated monomers with side chains containing between three and 21 fluorine atoms readily polymerize under controlled conditions. The resulting polymers exhibit narrow molar mass distributions (Đ ≈ 1.1) and high end group fidelity, even at conversions greater than 95%. This level of control permits the in situ generation of chain-end functional homopolymers and diblock copolymers, providing facile access to semi-fluorinated macromolecules using a single methodology with unprecedented monomer scope. The results disclosed herein should create opportunities across a variety of fields that exploit fluorine-containing polymers for tailored bulk, interfacial, and solution properties.

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