[en] Cobalt-mediated radical coupling (CMRC) is successfully applied to poly(vinyl acetate) (PVAc) and poly(N-vinylpyrrolidone) (PNVP) precursors for the first time. The coupling process is based on addition of isoprene onto polymer chains preformed by controlled radical polymerization with cobalt complexes (CMRP). The extents of coupling were high (>90%) to moderate (75-80%) for PVAc and PNVP precursors, respectively. Effects of the length of the polymer precursors and conditions used in the polymerization step on the coupling efficiency are discussed. Mass spectrometry (MS) and nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) analyses conducted on the coupling products demonstrate the preferential insertion of two isoprene units in the final polymers. The CMRC mechanistic proposal, supported by DFT calculations, is based on this microstructure feature. Finally, illustration of the macromolecular engineering potential of this technique is given by the preparation of symmetrical PVAc-b-PNVP-b-PVAc triblock copolymers starting from the corresponding PVAc-b-PNVP-[Co] diblock copolymer.
Center for Education and Research on Macromolecules (CERM)
Politique Scientifique Fédérale (Belgique) = Belgian Federal Science Policy ; Fonds de la Recherche Scientifique (Communauté française de Belgique) - F.R.S.-FNRS ; The french "CNRS" and the IUF