Functional polymers by living anionic polymerization



The application of living anionic polymerization techniques for the functionalization of polymers and block copolymers is reviewed. The attachment of functional groups to polymeric chains of predetermined lengths and narrow molecular weight distributions is described. Carboxyls, hydroxyls, amines, halogens, double bonds, and many other functional groups can be placed at one or two ends in the center or evenly spaced along polymeric chains. Subsequent transformations of the functional groups further contribute to the versatility of such treatments. General methods based on the use, as terminators, of substituted haloalkanes, as well as the addition of living polymers or their initiators to diphenylethylenes, substituted with appropriate functional groups or molecules, are discussed. Another approach, based on the living polymerization of monomers with protected functional groups, is also discussed. It has been used for the preparation of polymers and copolymers with evenly spaced functional groups. The combination of living anionic polymerization techniques with controlled radical and cationic polymerizations is also described. © 2002 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. J Polym Sci Part A: Polym Chem 40: 2116–2133, 2002