Mechanism and kinetics of dithiobenzoate-mediated RAFT polymerization. I. The current situation
Investigations into the kinetics and mechanism of dithiobenzoate-mediated Reversible Addition-Fragmentation Chain Transfer (RAFT) polymerizations, which exhibit nonideal kinetic behavior, such as induction periods and rate retardation, are comprehensively reviewed. The appreciable uncertainty in the rate coefficients associated with the RAFT equilibrium is discussed and methods for obtaining RAFT-specific rate coefficients are detailed. In addition, mechanistic studies are presented, which target the elucidation of the fundamental cause of rate retarding effects. The experimental and theoretical data existing in the literature are critically evaluated and apparent discrepancies between the results of different studies into the kinetics of RAFT polymerizations are discussed. Finally, recommendations for further work are given. (c) 2006 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.