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Keywords:

  • branching;
  • control;
  • diffusion;
  • ICAR ATRP;
  • kinetics

Abstract

Thumbnail image of graphical abstract

The potential of initiators for continuous activator regeneration atom transfer radical polymerization (ICAR ATRP) for the synthesis of well-defined poly(n-butyl acrylate) is analyzed by means of simulations. The kinetic model accounts for reactivity differences between secondary and tertiary macrospecies and considers the possible influence of diffusional limitations. CuBr2 is used as transition metal salt and the commercially available N,N,N′,N″,N″-pentamethyldiethylenetriamine as ligand. For targeted chain lengths (TCLs) up to 1000, the ICAR ATRP can be performed relatively quickly, and with ppm levels of ATRP catalyst. For moderate TCLs, slightly higher ppm levels are required if excellent control over chain length is also desired. In all cases, limited loss of end-group functionality (EGF) results.