(S)-2-(Ethyl propionate)-(O-ethyl xanthate) (X1) and (S)-2-(Ethyl isobutyrate)-(O-ethyl xanthate) (X2) were used as the reversible addition-fragmentation chain transfer (RAFT) agents for the radical polymerization of vinyl acetate (VAc). The former showed the better chain transfer ability in the polymerization at 60°C. Kinetic study with both RAFT agents showed pseudo-first order kinetics up to around 85% monomer conversion. Molecular weight of the resulting polymer increased linearly with increase in the monomer conversion up to around 85%. The observed molecular weights calculated from 1H-NMR spectrum [Mn(NMR)] are close to the corresponding theoretical molecular weights [Mn(theor)]. The corresponding polydispersity index (PDI) of the resulting polymers remained almost constant at around 1.2 up to ∼ 65% monomer conversion and then increased gradually with the further increase in the monomer conversion. Chain-end analysis of the resulting polymers by 1H-NMR showed clearly that polymerization started with the radical forming out of the xanthate mediator. The negligible homo-chain extension and the hetero-chain extension involving synthesis of poly(VAc)-b-poly(NVP) diblock copolymer were occurred. © 2012 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. J Appl Polym Sci, 2012
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