Standard Article

Organotellurium Compounds as Chain Transfer agents for Living Radical Polymerization

Organic Selenium and Tellurium Compounds (2012)

  1. Shigeru Yamago,
  2. Yasuyuki Nakamura

Published Online: 15 DEC 2011

DOI: 10.1002/9780470682531.pat0579

Patai's Chemistry of Functional Groups

Patai's Chemistry of Functional Groups

How to Cite

Yamago, S. and Nakamura, Y. 2011. Organotellurium Compounds as Chain Transfer agents for Living Radical Polymerization. Patai's Chemistry of Functional Groups. .

Author Information

  1. Institute for Chemical Research, Kyoto University, Kyoto, Japan

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 15 DEC 2011


Synthetic and mechanistic aspects of organotellurium-mediated living radical polymerization (TERP), which utilizes divalent organotellurium compounds as controlling agents, are discussed. TERP predominantly proceeds by the degenerative chain transfer mechanism for the activation/deactivation of the dormant/radical species, while reversible termination by thermolysis and photolysis of carbon-tellurium bonds also contributes to a small extent. The high reactivity of organotellurium compounds towards polymer-end radicals in the degenerative chain transfer reaction ensures the high control of molecular weight and molecular weight distribution of the resulting polymers. Addition of ditellurides considerably increases the control of the polymerization by altering the activation/deactivation mechanism. TERP possesses several synthetic advantages, such as high versatility of monomer families, high versatility of block copolymer synthesis, high compatibility of polar functional groups and solvents, high versatility for selective synthesis of end-functionalized polymers, and high reliability for scale up for the industrial applications. These characteristics offer excellent opportunities for macromolecular engineering in the synthesis of new polymeric materials for various applications.


  • organotellurium-mediated living radical polymerization (TERP);
  • living radical polymerization;
  • ditelluride;
  • polymer;
  • macromolecular engineering;
  • degenerative chain transfer reaction