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Keywords:

  • atom transfer radical polymerization;
  • controlled radical polymerization;
  • iron;
  • polymethylmethacrylate;
  • polystyrene

Abstract

Tetradentate amine–bis(phenolate) iron(III) halide complexes containing chloro substituents on the aromatic ring are extremely efficient catalysts for controlled radical polymerization. Molecular weights are in good agreement with theoretical values and polydispersity indexes (PDIs) are as low as 1.11 for styrene and methyl methacrylate polymerizations. Complexes containing alkyl substituents on the aromatic ring are less efficient. Kinetic data reveal activity for styrene polymerization among the fastest reported to date and initial studies implicate a multimechanism system. Despite the highly colored polymerization media, simple work-up procedures yield pure white polymers.