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Critical Evaluation of the Microwave Effect on Radical (Co)Polymerizations

Authors

  • Yungwan Kwak,

    1. Center for Macromolecular Engineering, Department of Chemistry, Carnegie Mellon University, 4400 Fifth Avenue, Pittsburgh, PA 15213, USA
    Current affiliation:
    1. Silberline Manufacturing Co., Inc., 36 Progress Avenue, Tamaqua, PA 18252, USA
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  • Robert T. Mathers,

    1. Center for Macromolecular Engineering, Department of Chemistry, Carnegie Mellon University, 4400 Fifth Avenue, Pittsburgh, PA 15213, USA
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  • Krzysztof Matyjaszewski

    Corresponding author
    1. Center for Macromolecular Engineering, Department of Chemistry, Carnegie Mellon University, 4400 Fifth Avenue, Pittsburgh, PA 15213, USA
    • Center for Macromolecular Engineering, Department of Chemistry, Carnegie Mellon University, 4400 Fifth Avenue, Pittsburgh, PA 15213, USA.
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Abstract

Critical evaluations of the microwave effect on initiation, propagation, and termination during conventional radical polymerizations (RPs) of methyl methacrylate (MMA) and random copolymerization of styrene (St) with (meth)acrylates are examined by comparing microwave heating (MWH) and conventional heating (CH). Poly(methyl methacrylate) with similar equation image, equation image/equation image, and conversion are obtained under precisely controlled temperature, indicating very small changes of propagation rate constant. Rate enhancement in the absence of precise temperature control is mostly due to the higher reaction temperature of the reaction mixture than the apparent value indicated on display. Rates of initiator decomposition under well-controlled temperature are essentially the same for MWH and CH.

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