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Issue 10, 2012
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Use of a continuous-flow microreactor for thiol–ene functionalization of RAFT-derived poly(butyl acrylate)

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Abstract

This study describes the synthesis of functionalized RAFT-derived poly(n-butyl acrylate) polymers via the use of a continuous-flow microreactor, in which aminolysis as well as thiol–ene reactions are executed in reaction times of just 20 minutes. Poly(n-butyl acrylate) (Mn = 3800 g mol−1, PDI = 1.10) with a trithiocarbonate end group was prepared via a conventional RAFT process. The polymer was then functionalized via aminolysis/thiol–ene reactions in the micro-flow reactor with isobornyl acrylate, propargyl acrylate, poly(ethylene glycol) methyl ether acrylate and pentaerythritol tetraacrylate. To optimize the reaction time and reaction temperature of the micro-flow reactor, freshly collected samples were studied with soft ionization mass spectrometry. With this technique, efficient and very fast aminolysis and subsequent thiol–ene reactions take place on the RAFT-precursor polymer, yielding quantitative end group conversion within 20 min and functionalized polymers of 3700–4000 g mol−1, depending on the type of acrylate coupled. The use of a continuous-flow microreactor opens the pathway towards upsizing lab scale methods into larger processes without suffering from problems associated with reproducibility and tedious optimization issues.

Graphical abstract: Use of a continuous-flow microreactor for thiol–ene functionalization of RAFT-derived poly(butyl acrylate)

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Publication details

The article was received on 16 Jun 2012, accepted on 06 Aug 2012 and first published on 08 Aug 2012


Article type: Communication
DOI: 10.1039/C2PY20423A
Citation: Polym. Chem., 2012,3, 2739-2742
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    Use of a continuous-flow microreactor for thiol–ene functionalization of RAFT-derived poly(butyl acrylate)

    J. Vandenbergh and T. Junkers, Polym. Chem., 2012, 3, 2739
    DOI: 10.1039/C2PY20423A

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