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Synthesis and crosslinking of hyperbranched poly(n‐nonyl acrylate) to form organogels

Lu, Yangtian, Debnath, Dibyendu, Weiss, R. A., Pugh, Coleen
Journal of polymer science 2015 v.53 no.20 pp. 2399-2410
acetonitrile, composite polymers, crosslinking, differential scanning calorimetry, electron transfer, gels, glass transition, polymerization, shear stress, stress relaxation, tetrahydrofuran
(2‐Bromo‐n‐nonan‐1‐oxycarbonyl)ethyl acrylate was synthesized as an inimer for self‐condensing vinyl polymerization (SCVP) to produce hyperbranched poly(n‐nonyl acrylate), either as a homopolymer or as a copolymer with n‐nonyl acrylate. The inimer was homopolymerized and copolymerized by atom transfer radical polymerization (ATRP) and activator generated by electron transfer ATRP to produce soluble polymers with broad polydispersities (up to Đ = 9.91), which is characteristic of hyperbranched polymers produced by SCVP. The resulting hyperbranched (co)polymers were crosslinked by atom transfer radical coupling in both one‐pot and two‐step procedures. The radical–radical crosslinking reaction is extremely efficient, resulting in hard plastic particles from the homopolymer of (2‐bromo‐n‐nonan‐1‐oxycarbonyl)ethyl acrylate synthesized in bulk. Crosslinked organogels that swell in tetrahydrofuran were formed when the rate of crosslinking decreased using acetonitrile solutions. Dynamic shear and stress relaxation experiments demonstrated that the dry network behaves as a covalently crosslinked soft gel, with a glass transition at −50 °C according to differential scanning calorimetry. © 2015 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. J. Polym. Sci., Part A: Polym. Chem. 2015, 53, 2399–2410