Free-Radical Polymerization: Alkoxyamine Initiators
Polymers have important uses in both research and industry. Alkoxyamines are used in ATRP (atom transfer radical polymerization)-based polymerizations and can serve as efficient regulators in the preparation of polymers. In the past, the alkoxyamines were produced by the creation of radicals that are carbon-centered and were then trapped by nitroxide. This method, however, gave low yields and undesired byproducts. The reaction shown here takes place at low temperatures and in the presence of a nitroxide, utilizing an ATRP-based initiator that is treated with copper bromide. The ATRP is involved in the living radical polymerization system. Me6-tren ligand forms a catalyst complex for the reaction of the initiator with nitroxide. Equilibrium between the transfer to and from radicals and dormant species in the reaction is controlled by the Me6-tren ligand forming a complex with the Cu(II), which the free radicals can then interact with. The catalyst name Me6-tren stands for the chemical tris(2-(dimethylamino)ethyl)-amine. This is a more effective procedure for preparation that results in high yields. Discoveries such as this are important in areas such as nanotechnology.
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This source discusses the use of alkoxyamines in free-radical polymerization.