Brent Sumerlin, the George B. Butler Professor of Polymer Chemistry at the University of Florida, will deliver a seminar entitled, "Exploiting Light to Push the Limits of Controlled Radical Polymerization and Macromolecular Metamorphosis." Hosted by Marcus Weck.
For more information about Brent Sumerlin, click here.
Abstract: Advances in living polymerizations, especially controlled radical polymerization (CRP), have enabled the design of well-defined polymers with controlled molecular weights and architectures, though most methods enable control only up to modest molecular weights, despite the need for new robust materials. An ability to target complex UHMW polymers via CRP could allow an unprecedented opportunity to investigate important fundamental principles in self-assembly behavior and phase segregation. Herein, we describe catalyst-free photopolymerization conditions that facilitate the synthesis of UHMW polymers in environmentally friendly aqueous solvents to achieve near-quantitative monomer conversion by requiring only a readily available and low-energy light source or, in some cases, only sunlight. We also report that irradiation and hydrogen abstraction of thiocarbonylthio-terminated polymers prepared by reversible addition-fragmentation chain transfer (RAFT) polymerization is a straightforward route to removing end groups that could otherwise present challenges during application. Finally, using a new method for efficient post-polymerization modification of the side chains of hydrolytically stable precursors, we demonstrate that a wide variety of UHMW (co)polymers are accessible by these photochemical routes.