Functionalization of Polyisobutylene and Polyisobutylene Oligomers via the Ritter Reaction

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Polymers and High Performance Materials


The Ritter reaction, that is, reaction of a carbocation with a nitrile, was carried out on polyisobutylene (PIB) using a variety of reaction conditions. End quenching of PIB carbocations with acrylonitrile under living polymerization conditions (methyl chloride (MeCl)/hexane 60/40 (v/v) solvent mixtures at −70 °C) resulted in either tert‐chloride end groups or loss of chain‐end fidelity via carbocation rearrangement, as evidenced by NMR spectroscopy. Exo‐olefin functionalized PIB substrates were also reacted with nitriles under a variety of reaction conditions including various acid and solvent medium combinations. In all cases, the result was either no reaction or PIB that had undergone severe backbone degradation, as determined via NMR spectroscopy and gel permeation chromatography. Finally, the Ritter reaction was performed on a series of exo‐olefin functionalized oligoisobutylenes using acrylonitrile as the nitrile and either 60/40 dichloromethane/hexane or excess acrylonitrile as the solvent. In 60/40 dichloromethane/hexane, significant carbocation rearrangement and/or degradation resulted in a variety of isomeric, acrylamide‐functionalized oligomers. In excess acrylonitrile, the desired Ritter reaction was the only reaction observed, resulting in the smooth formation of the terminal acrylamide. The various N‐oligoisobutylacrylamides thus obtained represent new hydrophobic monomers useful for the introduction of hydrophobic moieties into acrylamide‐based water‐soluble polymers. © 2018 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. J. Polym. Sci., Part A: Polym. Chem. 2018, 56, 840–852

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Journal of Polymer Science Part A: Polymer Chemistry





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