Sequential Thiol-Ene/Thiol-Ene and Thiol-Ene/Thiol-Yne Reactions as a Route to Well-Defined Mono and Bis End-Functionalized Poly(N-isopropylacrylamide)

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Polymers and High Performance Materials


Sequential thiol-ene/thiol-ene and thiol-ene/thiol-yne reactions have been used as a facile and quantitative method for modifying end-groups on an N-isopropylacrylamide (NIPAm) homopolyrner. A well-defined precursor of polyNIPAm (PNIPAm) was prepared via reversible addition-fragmentation chain transfer (RAFT) polymerization in DMF at 70 degrees C using the 1-cyano-1-methylethyl dithiobenzoate/2,2'-azobis-(2-methylpropionitrile) chain transfer agent/initiator combination yielding a homopolymer with an absolute molecular weight of 5880 and polydispersity index of 1.18. The dithiobenzoate end-groups were modified in a one-pot process via primary amine cleavage followed by phosphine-mediated nucleophilic thiol-ene click reactions with either allyl methacrylate or propargyl acrylate yielding ene and yne terminal PNIPAm homopolymers quantitatively. The ene and yne groups were then modified, quantitatively as determined by (1)H NMR spectroscopy, via radical thiol-ene and radical thiol-yne reactions with three representative commercially available thiols yielding the mono and his end functional NIPAm homopolymers. This is the first time such sequential thiol-ene/thiol-ene and thiol-ene/thiol-yne reactions have been used in polymer synthesis/end-group modification. The lower critical solution temperatures (LCST) were then determined for all PNIPAm bomopolymers using a combination of optical measurements and dynamic light scattering. It is shown that the LCST varies depending on the chemical nature of the end-groups with measured values lying in the range 26-35 degrees C. (C) 2009 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. J Polym Sci Part A: Polym Chem 47: 3544-3557, 2009

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Journal of Polymer Science Part A-Polymer Chemistry





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