Alcohol mediated degenerate chain transfer controlled cationic polymerisation of para-alkoxystyrene†
In this report we demonstrate methanol as an effective degenerative chain transfer agent to control the cationic polymerisation (initiated by triflic acid) of electron rich p-alkoxy-styrenes, such as p-methoxystyrene (p-MOS). Kinetic analysis revealed that an induction period occurs initially during which free cationic polymerisation occurs at low monomer conversion before proceeding through the pseudo first order rate, analogous to the RAFT mechanism. Ethanol and isopropanol also demonstrated excellent control (Đ > 1.30), however, with an apparent increase in experimental molecular weight. Furthermore, methanol controlled polymers were successfully chain extended upon sequential monomer addition, demonstrating the ‘livingness’ of the alcohol mediated cationic polymerisation.