Absolut “copper catalyzation perfected”; robust living polymerization of NIPAM: Guinness is good for SET-LRP†
The controlled polymerization of N-isopropyl acrylamide (NIPAM) is reported in a range of international beers, wine, ciders and spirits utilizing Cu(0)-mediated living radical polymerization (SET-LRP). Highly active Cu(0) is first formed in situ by the rapid disproportionation of [Cu(I)(Me6-Tren)Br] in the commercial water–alcohol mixtures. Rapid, yet highly controlled, radical polymerization follows (Đ values as low as 1.05) despite the numerous chemicals of diverse functionality present in these solvents e.g. alpha acids, sugars, phenols, terpenoids, flavonoids, tannins, metallo-complexes, anethole etc. The results herein demonstrate the robust nature of the aqueous SET-LRP protocol, underlining its ability to operate efficiently in a wide range of complex chemical environments.