A new method that eliminates the need to store and monitor flammable and toxic initiators, allows reactions to be conducted at ambient temperatures and does not require end-product purification. The method generates radicals without the use of exogenous initiators, which can be applied to a wide range of polymers.
Polymers produced by radical polymerisations make up 40-45% of all industrial polymers.
A new method to generate radicals without the use of exogenous initiators has been developed. This eliminates the need to store and regularly monitor highly flammable and/or toxic initiators commonly used in industry. Further, in this new method no further purification is required to remove residual initiator from the final product.
In this approach, ultra-sonication is simply used to generate radicals from the solvent itself, which can in-turn initiate radical polymerization. In showing proof of concept, ultrasonically derived initiators could be used to initiate controlled polymerizations. A range of industrially relevant polymers could successfully be fabricated. The resultant polymers observed high end fidelity, low dispersity and could be produced at high conversions within 1 hour.
In showing versatility, the new method can also be used for free radical polymerizations-a very common method for the industrial synthesis of polymers.
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