Controlled RAFT Polymerization in a Continuous Flow Microreactor
- Christian H. Hornung
- Carlos Guerrero-Sanchez
- Malte Brasholz
- Simon Saubern
- John Chiefari
- Graeme Moad
- Ezio Rizzardo
- San H. Thang
- CSIRO Materials Science & Engineering, Victoria, AustraliaRead the publication that featured this abstract
Controlled radical polymerization using the reversible addition−fragmentation chain transfer approach (RAFT) was successfully conducted under continuous flow processing conditions, provided that steel tubing was used to prevent quenching of the radical process by oxygen. A series of different monomers, including acrylamides, acrylates, and vinyl acetate, were polymerized to high conversions (between 80 and 100%) at temperatures between 70 and 100 °C using various initiators, solvents, and RAFT agents. Low dispersities, typically between 1.15−1.20, and average molecular weights similar to those of batch RAFT polymerizations were obtained. The methodology provides a facile, alternative scale-up route to conventional batch polymerization, which can be challenging because of the oxygen-sensitive nature of the RAFT process.
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