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Polymers 2017, 9(3), 89; doi:10.3390/polym9030089

RAFT Polymerization of Styrene and Maleimide in the Presence of Fluoroalcohol: Hydrogen Bonding Effects with Classical Alternating Copolymerization as Reference

Suzhou Key Laboratory of Macromolecular Design and Precision Synthesis, Jiangsu Key Laboratory of Advanced Functional Polymer Design and Application, State and Local Joint Engineering Laboratory for Novel Functional Polymeric Materials, College of Chemistry, Chemical Engineering and Materials Science, Soochow University, Suzhou 215123, China
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Academic Editor: Philipp Vana
Received: 23 January 2017 / Accepted: 1 March 2017 / Published: 3 March 2017
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Abstract

The impacts of hydrogen bonding on polymerization behavior has been of interest for a long time; however, universality and in-depth understanding are still lacking. For the first time, the effect of hydrogen bonding on the classical alternating-type copolymerization of styrene and maleimide was explored. N-phenylmaleimide (N-PMI)/styrene was chosen as a model monomer pair in the presence of hydrogen bonding donor solvent 1,1,1,3,3,3-hexafluoro-2-propanol (HFIP), which interacted with N-PMI via hydrogen bonding. Reversible addition-fragmentation chain transfer polymerization (RAFT) technique was used to guarantee the “living” polymerization and thus the homogeneity of chain compositions. In comparison with the polymerization in nonhydrogen bonding donor solvent (toluene), the copolymerization in HFIP exhibited a high rate and a slight deviation from alternating copolymerization tendency. The reactivity ratios of N-PMI and St were revealed to be 0.078 and 0.068, respectively, while the reactivity ratios in toluene were 0.026 and 0.050. These interesting results were reasonably explained by using computer simulations, wherein the steric repulsion and electron induction by the hydrogen bonding between HFIP and NPMI were revealed. This work first elucidated the hydrogen bonding interaction in the classical alternating-type copolymerization, which will enrich the research on hydrogen bonding-induced polymerizations. View Full-Text
Keywords: alternating copolymerization; hydrogen bonding; N-phenylmaleimide; fluoroalcohol; reversible addition-fragmentation chain transfer (RAFT) copolymerization alternating copolymerization; hydrogen bonding; N-phenylmaleimide; fluoroalcohol; reversible addition-fragmentation chain transfer (RAFT) copolymerization
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MDPI and ACS Style

Yao, F.; Liu, Q.; Zhang, Z.; Zhu, X. RAFT Polymerization of Styrene and Maleimide in the Presence of Fluoroalcohol: Hydrogen Bonding Effects with Classical Alternating Copolymerization as Reference. Polymers 2017, 9, 89.

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