Unsymmetrical difunctionalization of cyclooctadiene under continuous flow conditions: expanding the scope of ring opening metathesis polymerization†
Functionalized cyclooctenes (FCOEs) are important monomers in ring-opening metathesis polymerization (ROMP). Herein, a new library of disubstituted FCOEs bearing adjacent heteroatoms were synthesized and applied in ROMP. To address the issues associated with the handling of the reactive thienyl chloride intermediate, a two-step continuous flow method has been developed to prepare 5-thio-6-chlorocyclooctene compounds from abundant cyclooctadiene starting materials. These newly synthesized FCOE monomers were subsequently polymerized through ROMP, giving rise to a range of functionalized polymers with high molecular weights. Furthermore, we demonstrated that the thermal properties of these polymers could be fine-tuned by changing the functional groups in the FCOE monomers. We expect that this functionalization-polymerization strategy will enable the preparation of a range of polymeric materials with complex structures.