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Preparation of branched polystyrene using atom transfer radical polymerization techniques and protection-deprotection chemistry


A new strategy using protection-deprotection chemistry was used to prepare branched polymers using the ATRP method only. Among the several monomers with different protecting groups, vinyl benzylt-butyloxy carbonate (VBt-BOC) and 4-methyl styrene (4-MeSt) could be polymerized successfully to form backbones using the ATRP method in a controlled fashion. The protected groups in the backbones were converted to alkyl bromides and used as initiating sites for branch formation. The benzylt-butyloxy carbonate groups in the backbones containing VBt-BOC units were first deprotected to benzyl alcohol by trifluoroacetic acid, then converted to benzyl bromide by reacting them with triphenylphosphine/carbon tetrabromide. The benzyl bromide groups in the backbones containing 4-MeSt units could be generated by bromination of the methyl groups usingN-bromosuccinimide/benzoyl peroxide. The structures of the prepared polymers were well-controlled, as evidenced by the controlled molecular weight as well as the narrow and unimodal molecular weight distribution.

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Correspondence to Young-Je Kwark.

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Kwark, Y. Preparation of branched polystyrene using atom transfer radical polymerization techniques and protection-deprotection chemistry. Macromol. Res. 16, 238–246 (2008).

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  • atom transfer radical polymerization
  • protection-deprotection chemistry
  • branched polymer