A dual initiator approach for oxygen tolerant RAFT polymerization


Reversible-deactivation radical polymerizations are privileged approaches for the synthesis of functional and hybrid materials. A bottleneck for conducting these processes is the need to maintain oxygen free conditions. Herein we report a broadly applicable approach to “polymerize through” oxygen using the synergistic combination of two radical initiators having different rates of homolysis. The in situ monitoring of the concentrations of oxygen and monomer simultaneously provided insight into the function of the two initiators and enabled the identification of conditions to effectively remove dissolved oxygen and control polymerization under open-to-air conditions. By understanding how the surface area to volume ratio of reaction vessels influence open-to-air polymerizations, well-defined polymers were produced using acrylate, styrenic, and methacrylate monomers, which each represent an expansion of scope for the “polymerizing through” oxygen approach. Demonstration of this method in tubular reactors using continuous flow chemistry provided a more complete structure–reactivity understanding of how reaction headspace influences PTO RAFT polymerizations.


Taylor, N. G., Reis, M. H., Varner, T. P., Rapp, J. L., Sarabia, A., & Leibfarth, F. A. (2022, August 8). A dual initiator approach for oxygen tolerant raft polymerization. Polymer Chemistry.