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A Continuous Flow Process for the Radical Induced End Group Removal of RAFT Polymers

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Abstract

A continuous flow process for the radical-induced end-group removal of polymers made by a RAFT process is described. A series of different monomers, including acrylamides, methacrylate, and styrene are polymerized at 70–100 °C using various different RAFT agents, solvents, and radical initiators. The subsequent end group removal process is carried out in a steel tube flow reactor system at 100 °C in organic solvents or water. After reaction, the polymers exhibit low polydispersities between 1.03 and 1.19, and average molecular weights between 7500 and 22 800 g · mol−1. This continuous flow approach provides a facile alternative scale-up route to conventional batch operation and can be integrated into a sequential flow process consisting of RAFT polymerization followed by post-treatment.

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