Block copolymer synthesis in one shot: concurrent metal-free ATRP and ROP processes under sunlight
A completely metal-free strategy was developed by combining Atom Transfer Radical Polymerization (ATRP) and Ring Opening Polymerization (ROP) for the syntheses of block copolymers. These two different metal-free controlled/living polymerizations, which have no effect on each other, were concurrently realized in one reaction medium. Using a specifically designed bi-functional initiator, possessing primary hydroxyl and tertiary bromide functionalities, vinyl and lactone monomers were simultaneously polymerized under sunlight, by metal-free strategies. Spectral and chromatographic results reveal that the synthetic approach applied produces block copolymers in a controlled manner, free from homopolymers, and with narrow molecular weight distributions.