Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering Faculty Research


Novel Substituted Epoxide Initiators for the Carbocationic Polymerization of Isobutylene

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This article presents the first detailed account of the discovery that substituted epoxides can initiate the carbocationic polymerization of isobutylene. α-Methylstyrene epoxide (MSE), 2,4,4-trimethyl-pentyl-epoxide-1,2 (TMPO-1), 2,4,4-trimethyl-pentyl-epoxide-2,3 (TMPO-2), and hexaepoxi squalene (HES) initiated isobutylene polymerization in conjunction with TiCl4. MSE, TMPO-2, and HES initiated living polymerizations. A competitive reaction mechanism is proposed for the initiation and propagation. According to the proposed mechanism, initiator efficiency is defined by the competition between the SN1 and SN2 reaction paths. A controlled initiation with external epoxides such as MSE should yield a primary hydroxyl head group and a tert-chloride end-group. The presence of tert-chloride end-groups was verified by NMR spectroscopy, whereas the presence of primary hydroxyl groups was implied by model experiments. Multiple initiation by HES was verified by diphenyl ethylene end-capping and NMR analysis; the resulting star polymer had an average of 5.2 arms per molecule. A detailed investigation of the reaction mechanism and the characterization of the polymers are in progress. © 2000 John Wiley & Sons, Inc. J Polym Sci A: Polym Chem 38: 444–452, 2000

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Journal of Polymer Science Part A: Polymer Chemistry





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