Porous, functional, poly(styrene-co-divinylbenzene) monoliths by RAFT polymerization

    • Kristine J. Barlow (née Tan)
    • Xiaojuan Hao
    • Timothy C. Hughes
    • Oliver E. Hutt
    • Anastasios Polyzos
    • Kathleen A. Turner
    • Graeme Moad
    • Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO), Materials Science & Engineering, Australia

    Herein we provide the first report of a new method for the preparation of porous functional poly(styrene-co-divinylbenzene) monoliths by use of reversible addition–fragmentation chain transfer (RAFT) polymerization. The method, exemplified by styrene–divinylbenzene copolymerization in the presence of 2-cyano-2-propyl dodecyl trithiocarbonate, provides control over polymerization kinetics, monolith morphology and surface functionality. Kinetic studies of monolith formation show a period of slow copolymerization, with a rate similar to RAFT homopolymerization of styrene, followed by rapid copolymerization, with a rate similar to that observed in conventional styrene–divinylbenzene copolymerization. The time to onset of rapid polymerization (gelation) and the monolith morphology depend strongly on the RAFT agent concentration. The RAFT-synthesized monoliths show a modified morphology with smaller pores and polymer globules when compared to non-RAFT monoliths, but importantly retain good flow properties. Retention of the thiocarbonylthio group within the monolith structure in an active form for surface-functionalization of the polymeric monoliths is demonstrated by the successful RAFT “grafting from” polymerization of (4-vinylphenyl)boronic acid. These functional monoliths have potential applications in chromatography and flow chemistry.

    Read the publication that featured this abstract

    Get in touch

    For more information on flow chemistry systems and services please use the contact methods below.

    Call us on +44 (0)1284 728659 or Email us