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Molecules 2018, 23(11), 2870; https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules23112870

A Perspective on Reversibility in Controlled Polymerization Systems: Recent Progress and New Opportunities

1,2
,
1,* , 3
and
3,*
1
School of Materials Science and Engineering, University of Science and Technology Beijing, 30 Xueyuan Road, Haidian District, Beijing 100083, China
2
Department of Chemistry, Southern Methodist University, 3215 Daniel Avenue, Dallas, TX 75275, USA
3
Department of Chemistry, University of Florida, PO Box 117200, Gainesville, FL 32611-7200, USA
*
Authors to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editors: Jianxun Ding, Yang Li and Mingqiang Li
Received: 15 October 2018 / Revised: 1 November 2018 / Accepted: 2 November 2018 / Published: 3 November 2018
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Smart and Functional Polymers)
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Abstract

The field of controlled polymerization is growing and evolving at unprecedented rates, facilitating polymer scientists to engineer the structure and property of polymer materials for a variety of applications. However, the lack of degradability, particularly in vinyl polymers, is a general concern not only for environmental sustainability, but also for biomedical applications. In recent years, there has been a significant effort to develop reversible polymerization approaches in those well-established controlled polymerization systems. Reversible polymerization typically involves two steps, including (i) forward polymerization, which converts small monomers into macromolecule; and (ii) depolymerization, which is capable of regenerating original monomers. Furthermore, recycled monomers can be repolymerized into new polymers. In this perspective, we highlight recent developments of reversible polymerization in those controlled polymerization systems and offer insight into the promise and utility of reversible polymerization systems. More importantly, the current challenges and future directions to solve those problems are discussed. We hope this perspective can serve as an “initiator” to promote continuing innovations in this fairly new area. View Full-Text
Keywords: controlled polymerization; reversible polymerization; sustainable polymers controlled polymerization; reversible polymerization; sustainable polymers
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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited (CC BY 4.0).
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Tang, H.; Luan, Y.; Yang, L.; Sun, H. A Perspective on Reversibility in Controlled Polymerization Systems: Recent Progress and New Opportunities. Molecules 2018, 23, 2870.

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