The direct polymerization of 2-methacryloxyethyl glucoside via aqueous reversible addition-fragmentation chain transfer (RAFT) polymerization

AB Lowe
BS Sumerlin
Charles L. McCormick, University of Southern Mississippi


A preliminary study on the direct controlled radical polymerization of a glycomonomer, namely 2-methacryloxyethyl glucoside (MAGlu), under reversible addition-fragmentation chain transfer (RAFF) polymerization conditions in aqueous media has been conducted. This represents the first example detailing the direct polymerization of a sugar monomer via RAFF and, significantly, has been conducted without protecting group chemistry. 4-Cyano-4-methyl-4-thiobenzoylsulfanyl butyric acid (CTP) was employed as the RAFT chain transfer agent (CTA) due to its inherent water-solubility and its applicability for methacrylic monomers. The homopolymerization displays all the characteristics of a controlled/'living' polymerization-linear increase in M-n with conversion, pseudo-first order kinetics, the final polymers have narrow molecular distributions and novel block copolymers can be prepared. (C) 2003 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.