High-efficiency synthesis of dendrimer-like poly(ethylene oxide) via “arm-first” approach


In this study, a dendrimer-like polymer based on poly(ethylene oxide) (PEO) was synthesized through a combination of anionic ring-opening polymerization (AROP) and click reaction via arm-first method. Firstly, the polymeric arm, a linear PEO with one alkynyl group and two bromo groups, was synthesized by AROP of ethylene oxide followed by functionalization with propargyl bromide and esterified with 2-bromopropionic bromide. Second, a star PEO carrying three azide groups was synthesized though AROP of ethylene oxide used 1,1,1-tris(hydrosymethyl) ethane as initiator followed esterificated with 2-bromopropionic acid and azidation. By azide–alkyne click reactions between the azide-terminated PEO star polymer and linear PEO with functionalization alkynyl group, a three generation dendrimer-like PEO, G3-PEO-24Br, was successfully synthesized. The resulting polymers were observed to have precisely controlled molecular weights and compositions with narrow molecular weight distributions.

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This work was supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of China (No. 21174001 and No. 51403001), the “211 Project” of the Anhui University (No. J01001319), and the Research Foundation of the College of Chemistry and Chemical Engineering of Anhui University. The authors acknowledge the support from the “Institute of High Performance Rubber Materials & Products” (Hefei) and "Collaborative Innovation Center for Petrochemical New Materials (Anqing)."

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Correspondence to Ru Xia or Ming Cao.

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Zhu, S., Xia, R., Chen, P. et al. High-efficiency synthesis of dendrimer-like poly(ethylene oxide) via “arm-first” approach. J Polym Res 24, 73 (2017). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10965-017-1213-8

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  • Dendrimer-like poly(ethylene oxide)
  • Arm-first
  • Anionic ring-opening polymerization
  • Click chemistry