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Synthesis of alkyne-terminated xanthate RAFT agents and their uses for the controlled radical polymerization of N-vinylpyrrolidone and the synthesis of its block copolymer using click chemistry

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Abstract

Two new alkyne-terminated xanthate reversible addition-fragmentation chain-transfer (RAFT) agents: (S)-2-(Propynyl propionate)-(O-ethyl xanthate) (X3) and (S)-2-(Propynyl isobutyrate)-(O-ethyl xanthate) (X4) were synthesized and characterized and used for the controlled radical polymerization of N-vinylpyrrolidone (NVP). X3 showed better chain transfer ability in the polymerization at 60°C. Molecular weight of the resulted polymer increased linearly with the increase in monomer loading. Kinetics study with X3 showed the pseudo-first order kinetics up to 67% monomer conversion. Molecular weight (Mn) of the resulting polymer increased linearly with the increase in the monomer conversion up to around 67%. With the increase in the monomer conversion, polydispersity of the corresponding poly(NVP)s initially decreased from 1.34 to 1.32 and then increased gradually to 1.58. Chain-end analysis of the resulting polymer by 1H-NMR and FTIR showed clearly that polymerization started with radical forming out of xanthate RAFT agent. Living nature of the polymerization was also confirmed from the successful homo-chain extension experiment and the hetero-chain extension experiment involving synthesis of poly(NVP)-b-polystyrene amphiphilic diblock copolymer. Formed alkyne-terminated poly(NVP) also allowed easy conjugation to azide-terminated polystyrene by click chemistry to prepare well-defined poly(NVP)-b-polystyrene block copolymers. Resulting polymers were characterized by GPC, 1H-NMR, FTIR, and thermal study. © 2012 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. J. Appl. Polym. Sci., 2013

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