Authors: N.V. Tsarevsky, P. McCarthy, W. Jakubowski, J. Spanswick, K. Matyjaszewski
Affilation: ATRP Solutions, Inc., United States
Pages: 665 - 668
Keywords: controlled radical polymerization, ATRP, functional polymers, block copolymers, polymer architecture
ATRP is one of the most powerful synthetic techniques that allows the synthesis of polymeric materials with predetermined molecular weight, composition, and molecular architecture derived from substituted styrenes, (meth)acrylates, or acrylonitrile. The polymers prepared by ATRP are chain end-functionalized and can be used as macroinitiators in chain extension reactions that yield block copolymers with excellent control over the segment size and nanophase separation. Well-defined polymers with various molecular architectures such as star- or brush-like molecules can be synthesized by ATRP, and systematic libraries are accessible, where the number and size of side chains, core functionality (in stars) or backbone length (in brushes) can be varied. Recently, new ATRP initiation techniques were developed that allow the process to be conducted using very low concentrations of Cu-based catalyst - often single-digit ppm amounts. For many applications, the polymers synthesized can be directly used and do not require further purification. A variety of previously inaccessible functional polymeric materials have been prepared by ATRP by the direct polymerization of functional monomers, the use of functional initiators, or by postpolymerization modifications. Using “universal” polymeric precursors derived from monomers containing epoxide or azide functional groups, libraries of polymers with numerous functional groups have been successfully prepared.