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Regioselective Carbyne Transfer to Ring-Opening Alkyne Metathesis Initiators Gives Access to Telechelic Polymers

  • Author(s): Von Kugelgen, S
  • Sifri, R
  • Bellone, D
  • Fischer, FR
  • et al.

© 2017 American Chemical Society. Regioselective carbyne-transfer reagents derived from (3,3,3-trifluoroprop-1-yn-1-yl)benzene give access to functionalized ring-opening alkyne metathesis polymerization (ROAMP) initiators [R-C6H4C-Mo(OC(CH3)(CF3)2)3] featuring electron-donating or -withdrawing substituents on the benzylidyne. Kinetic studies and linear free-energy relationships reveal that the initiation step of the ring-opening alkyne metathesis polymerization of 5,6,11,12-tetradehydrobenzo[a,e][8]annulene exhibits a moderate positive Hammett reaction constant (ρ = +0.36). ROAMP catalysts featuring electron-withdrawing benzylidynes not only selectively increase the rate of initiation (ki) over the rate of propagation (kp) but also prevent undesired intra- and intermolecular chain-transfer processes, giving access to linear poly-(o-phenylene ethynylene) with narrow molecular weight distribution. The regioselective carbyne transfer methodology and the detailed mechanistic insight enabled the design of a bifunctional ROAMP-reversible addition-fragmentation chain-transfer (RAFT) initiator complex. ROAMP followed by RAFT polymerization yields hybrid poly-(o-phenylene ethynylene)-block-poly-(methyl acrylate) block copolymers.

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