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Polymers 2014, 6(4), 1074-1095; doi:10.3390/polym6041074

Fed-Batch Control and Visualization of Monomer Sequences of Individual ICAR ATRP Gradient Copolymer Chains

Laboratory for Chemical Technology (LCT), Ghent University, Technologiepark 914, B-9052 Zwijnaarde (Gent), Belgium
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Received: 28 February 2014 / Revised: 31 March 2014 / Accepted: 2 April 2014 / Published: 10 April 2014
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Controlled/Living Radical Polymerization)
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Abstract

Based on kinetic Monte Carlo simulations of the monomer sequences of a representative number of copolymer chains (≈ 150,000), optimal synthesis procedures for linear gradient copolymers are proposed, using bulk Initiators for Continuous Activator Regeneration Atom Transfer Radical Polymerization (ICAR ATRP). Methyl methacrylate and n-butyl acrylate are considered as comonomers with CuBr2/PMDETA (N,N,N′,N′′,N′′-pentamethyldiethylenetriamine) as deactivator at 80 °C. The linear gradient quality is determined in silico using the recently introduced gradient deviation (<GD>) polymer property. Careful selection or fed-batch addition of the conventional radical initiator I2 allows a reduction of the polymerization time with ca. a factor 2 compared to the corresponding batch case, while preserving control over polymer properties (<GD> ≈ 0.30; dispersity ≈ 1.1). Fed-batch addition of not only I2, but also comonomer and deactivator (50 ppm) under starved conditions yields a <GD> below 0.25 and, hence, an excellent linear gradient quality for the dormant polymer molecules, albeit at the expense of an increase of the overall polymerization time. The excellent control is confirmed by the visualization of the monomer sequences of ca. 1000 copolymer chains.
Keywords: ICAR ATRP; kinetic Monte Carlo modeling; optimization; copolymer composition; gradient deviation; starved-feed conditions ICAR ATRP; kinetic Monte Carlo modeling; optimization; copolymer composition; gradient deviation; starved-feed conditions
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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY 3.0).

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MDPI and ACS Style

D'hooge, D.R.; Van Steenberge, P.H.M.; Reyniers, M.-F.; Marin, G.B. Fed-Batch Control and Visualization of Monomer Sequences of Individual ICAR ATRP Gradient Copolymer Chains. Polymers 2014, 6, 1074-1095.

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