Poly(vinyl ester) block copolymers synthesized by reversible addition-fragmentation chain transfer polymerizations

Corinne E. Lipscomb, Mahesh K. Mahanthappa

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38 Scopus citations


Homopolymerizations and block copolymerizations of vinyl acetate (VAc), vinyl pivalate (VPv), and vinyl benzoate (VBz) by reversible addition-fragmentation chain transfer (RAFT) polymerization have been studied. Polymerizations of VAc initiated with 2,2'-azobis(isobutyronitrile) (AIBN) at 60 °C using two different xanthate RAFT agents C 2H 5OC(=S)SR (R= -CH(CH 3)CO 2C 2H 5 (1) and -CH(CH 3)O 2CC(CH 3) 3 (2)) were examined to elucidate the dependence of the polydispersities of the resulting polymers on the RAFT agent leaving group R. RAFT agent 2, in which the leaving R-group mimics a growing vinyl ester polymer chain, consistently yields polyvinyl acetates) having broader polydispersities than those synthesized using 1 (M n = 3.6-14 kg/mol and M w/M n = 1.15-1.33). While VPv exhibits similar controlled polymerization behavior to VAc, RAFT homopolymerizations of VBz mediated by 1 indicate this electrondeficient vinyl ester requires higher temperatures to effect controlled polymerizations to yield polymers having M n = 4-14 kg/mol and M w/M n = 1.29-1.53. Chain extension reactions from xanthate-terminated vinyl ester homopolymers with VAc, VPv, and VBz proceed with variable efficiencies to furnish block copolymers that microphase separate in the melt state as determined by small-angle X-ray scattering.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)4571-4579
Number of pages9
Issue number13
StatePublished - Jul 14 2009


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