• anionic polymerization;
  • graft copolymers;
  • graft onto;
  • graft polymer;
  • living anionic polymerization;
  • modular synthesis;
  • nucleophilic substitution;
  • polybutadiene


A series of graft (co)polymers were synthesized by nucleophilic substitution reaction between iodinated 1,2-polybutadiene (PB-I, backbone) and living polymer lithium (side chains). The coupling reaction between PB-I and living polymers can finish within minutes at room temperature, and high conversion (up to 92%) could be obtained by effectively avoiding side reaction of dimerization when living polymers were capped with 1,1-diphenylethylene. By virtue of living anionic polymerization, backbone length, side chain length, and side chain composition, as well as graft density, were well controlled. Tunable molecular weight of graft (co)polymers with narrow molecular weight distribution can be obtained by changing either the lengths of side chain and backbone, or the graft density. Graft copolymers could also be synthesized with side chains of multicomponent polymers, such as block polymer (polystyrene-b-polybutadiene) and even mixed polymers (polystyrene and polybutadiene) as hetero chains. Thus, based on living anionic polymerization, this work provides a facile way for modular synthesis of graft (co)polymers via nucleophilic substitution reaction between living polymers and polyhalohydrocarbon (PB-I). © 2013 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. J Polym Sci Part A: Polym Chem, 2013