J. C. Warner University Professor of Natural Sciences and Director, Center for Macromolecular Engineering, Carnegie Mellon University, USA
Abstract: Copper-based ATRP (atom transfer radical polymerization) catalytic systems with polydentate nitrogen ligands are among most efficient controlled/living radical polymerization systems. The control in ATRP is defined by the dynamic equilibration between active propagating radicals and dormant alkyl halide species. Recently, by applying new initiating/catalytic systems, Cu level in ATRP was reduced to a few ppm. ATRP of acrylates, methacrylates, styrenes, acrylamides, acrylonitrile and other vinyl monomers was controlled by various external stimuli, including electrical current, light, mechanical forces and ultrasound to regenerate very low concentrations of activators. ATRP was employed for synthesis of multifunctional polymers with precisely controlled complex molecular architecture with designed shape, composition and functionality. Block, graft, star, hyperbranched, gradient and periodic copolymers, molecular brushes and various hybrid materials and bioconjugates were prepared with high precision. These hybrids provide access to new materials for application related to biomedicine, environment, energy and catalysis.