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Enhancing Mechanically Induced ATRP by Promoting Interfacial Electron Transfer from Piezoelectric Nanoparticles to Cu Catalysts

Wang, Zhenhua, Pan, Xiangcheng, Li, Lingchun, Fantin, Marco, Yan, Jiajun, Wang, Zongyu, Wang, Zhanhua, Xia, Hesheng, Matyjaszewski, Krzysztof
Macromolecules 2017 v.50 no.20 pp. 7940-7948
agitation, catalysts, copper, electron transfer, molecular weight, nanoparticles, polymerization, polymers, ultrasonics, zinc oxide
A robust mechanically controlled atom transfer radical polymerization (mechano-ATRP) was developed by enhancing the interaction between piezoelectric nanoparticles and ATRP Cu catalysts. The interactions favor a mechano-induced electron transfer from the surface of the nanoparticles to the deactivator Cuᴵᴵ/L complex under ultrasonic agitation, promoting the formation of the activator Cuᴵ/L complex, thereby increasing the rate of the polymerization. This mechano-ATRP was carried out with a low loading of zinc oxide nanoparticles, providing a polymer with high end-group fidelity, predetermined molecular weight, and low dispersity. Propagation of the polymer chains was switched on/off in response to the ultrasound. The effects of the nature of the nanoparticle, nanoparticle loading, and targeted degrees of polymerization were investigated to evaluate the mechanism of mechano-ATRP.