The Synthesis of Macrocyclic Polystyrene by Sequential Atom Transfer Radical Reactions

Date of Thesis

Spring 4-9-2012

Thesis Type

Honors Thesis



First Advisor

Eric Tillman


A method for the production of macrocyclic polystyrene via ring closing of a linear !,"-dibrominated polystyrene by an Atom Transfer Radical Coupling (ATRC) reaction is described. The dibrominated polystyrene chain was produced from two simultaneous atom transfer radical polymerizations (ATRPs) originating from a dibrominated benzal bromide initiator. To ensure the retention of the halogen end groups polymerization was allowed to proceed to less than 50% conversion. Using this precursor in an intramolecular ATRC (ring closing) reaction was found to yield in excess of 90% cyclic product based on refractive index-gel permeation chromatography (GPC) analysis. The cyclic architecture of the polymer was verified by GPC, Nuclear Magnetic Resonance (NMR), and mass spectrometry analysis. The utility of this method has been expanded by the addition of 2-methyl-2-nitrosopropane to the coupling reaction, which allows for the coupling to proceed at a faster rate and to yield macrocycles with incorporated alkoxyamine functionality. The alkoxyamine functionality allows for degradation of the cycles at high temperatures (>125° C) and we hypothesize that it may allow the macrocycles to act as a macroinitiator for a ring expansion polymerization in future studies.

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