Visible light induced step-growth polymerization by electrophilic aromatic substitution reactions†
A novel visible light induced step-growth polymerization to form poly(phenylene methylene) by electrophilic aromatic substitution reactions is described. The effect of different nucleophilic aromatic molecules on polymerization has been investigated. The possibility of combining step-growth polymerization with conventional free radical and free radical promoted cationic polymerizations through photoinduced chain-end activation has been demonstrated. Highly fluorescent fibers of the resulting block copolymers were obtained using the electrospinning technique. The versatile photoinduced step-growth polymerization process reported herein paves the way for a new generation of polycondensates and their combination with chain polymers that cannot be obtained by conventional methods.