Precision polymers: a kinetic approach for functional poly(norbornenes)

  • Dafni Moatsou, Claire F. Hansell, Rachel K. O'Reilly
  • Chemical Science, January 2014, Royal Society of Chemistry
  • DOI: 10.1039/c4sc00752b

Using norbornenes for sequence control in ROMP

What is it about?

We present an alternative method to produce poly(norbornene)s with a relative control over the monomer sequence. Taking advantage of the well-established difference in the rate that two similar norbornenes react, the faster norbornene is introduced into the reaction only when the polymer has reached the desired length. This results in the addition of the fast norbornene at a precise location. Based on this approach, we are now able to synthesize multifunctional poly(norbornene)s with precision.

Why is it important?

Can we achieve absolute control over the sequence of monomers on a polymer chain? Step-growth approaches (i.e. peptide synthesis, multiblock copolymers) are one way to go. But when all you need is a polymer that carries a certain functionality within a narrow region of its backbone, precision polymers are the best bet. Here we report the synthesis of poly(norbornene)s by ring-opening metathesis polymerization (ROMP), having introduced interesting functionalities with reasonable precision.

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The following have contributed to this page: Dr Dafni Moatsou