Modeling the reversible addition–fragmentation transfer polymerization process



A kinetic model has been developed for reversible addition–fragmentation transfer (RAFT) polymerization with the method of moments. The model predicts the monomer conversion, number-average molecular weight, and polydispersity of the molecular weight distribution. It also provides detailed information about the development of various types of chain species during polymerization, including propagating radical chains, adduct radical chains, dormant chains, and three types of dead chains. The effects of the RAFT agent concentration and the rate constants of the initiator decomposition, radical addition, fragmentation, disproportionation, and recombination termination of propagating radicals and cross-termination between propagating and adduct radicals on the kinetics and polymer chain properties are examined with the model. © 2003 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. J Polym Sci Part A: Polym Chem 41: 1553–1566, 2003