Simultaneous Photoinduced ATRP and CuAAC Reactions for the Synthesis of Block Copolymers

Macromolecular Rapid Communications


Eljesa Murtezi, Yusuf Yagci


Atom transfer radical polymerization (ATRP) and copper-catalyzed azidealkyne cycloaddition (CuAAC) reactions, both utilizing copper(I) (Cu(I)) complexes, make a tremendous progress in synthetic polymer chemistry. Independently or in combination with other polymerization processes, they give access to the synthesis of polymers with well-defined structures, desired molecular architectures, and a wide variety of functionalities. Here, a novel in situ photoinduced formation of block copolymers is described by simultaneous ATRP and CuAAC processes. This approach relies on the direct reduction of initially charged copper(II) complexes to Cu(I) complexes to trigger both ATRP and CuAAC reactions coinciding under UV light at ambient temperature in one pot. Its synthetic utility is demonstrated on a model block copolymerization process by photoinduced ATRP of methyl methacrylate (MMA) using an initiator possessing acetylene functionality and concomitant click reaction between thus formed -acetylene-poly(methyl methacrylate) (Ac-PMMA) and independently prepared azide functional polystyrene (PS-N3). Successful formation of PS-b-PMMA block copolymer is confirmed by FT-IR and 1H NMR spectral analysis and gel permeation chromatography (GPC) measurements.

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