Polymer synthesis

Polymer synthesis, also called polymerization, is the process by which monomers (small molecules) are covalently bonded to form a (usually long) polymer chain or network.

Latest Research and Reviews

  • Research | | open

    Multiblock oxygenated polyols often show better properties than the constituent polyols, but their synthesis can be complex and difficult. Here a switchable catalysis concept is described which allows for the efficient preparation of multiblock poly(ether-b-ester) materials starting from mixtures of common monomers.

    • Tim Stößer
    • , Gregory S. Sulley
    • , Georgina L. Gregory
    •  & Charlotte K. Williams
  • Research | | open

    The formation of polymer nanoparticles with a uniform size and shape, beyond spheres, is an unresolved problem. Here the authors show a living aqueous catalytic polymerization forming single crystal particles grown by a single active site and composed of a single ultra high molecular weight polyethylene chain.

    • Manuel Schnitte
    • , Anne Staiger
    • , Larissa A. Casper
    •  & Stefan Mecking
  • Reviews | | open

    Surface-grafting polymer brush (SPB) technique can be used to change the inherent physical/chemical properties of materials surface. Practical applications are paid more attention since SPB technique enables to decorate materials with diverse functions. This paper reviews the current grafting strategies to generate polymer brush layer on surface of solid materials with diverse geometric structures/sizes, and then systematically summarizes the recent research advances on application of polymer brushes-modified materials. Correspondingly, some key challenges of SPB technique with considering its real application in future are discussed. The aim to draft this paper is to tell the readers how to engineer functional materials by SPB technique.

    • Shuanhong Ma
    • , Xiaoqin Zhang
    • , Bo Yu
    •  & Feng Zhou
  • Research |

    We demonstrated the synthesis of fluorescent network polymers through Knoevenagel polycondensation of an (tris(p-formylphenyl)amine) with a phenylenediacetonitrile. The structure based on the electron-donor triphenylamine and electron-acceptor cyano-substituted phenylene-vinylene showed a highly efficient solid-state fluorescence. The model molecule showed a well-defined solvatofluorochromism. Surprisingly, the network polymer linked with para-phenylene-vinylene was only responsive to the solvents with a low dielectric constant and nitrobenzene. The network polymer linked with meta-phenylene-vinylene was responsive to the aromatic solvents only. The characteristic chemoselectivity was observed by the geometric effect of the network structure.

    • Shotaro Hayashi
    • , Shin-ichi Yamamoto
    • , Koji Nishi
    • , Atsushi Asano
    •  & Toshio Koizumi
  • Research | | open

    The hydroxide anion exchange polymers are key materials of solid polymer electrolyte devices that operate under alkaline conditions. Here the authors show the rational design of such polymers that exhibit high ion exchange capacity and exceptional stability under highly caustic conditions.

    • Jiantao Fan
    • , Sapir Willdorf-Cohen
    • , Eric M. Schibli
    • , Zoe Paula
    • , Wei Li
    • , Thomas J. G. Skalski
    • , Ania Tersakian Sergeenko
    • , Amelia Hohenadel
    • , Barbara J. Frisken
    • , Emanuele Magliocca
    • , William E. Mustain
    • , Charles E. Diesendruck
    • , Dario R. Dekel
    •  & Steven Holdcroft
  • Research | | open

    The exfoliation of covalent organic frameworks is a potential route to interesting two-dimensional materials. Here, the authors report a strategy incorporating metal ions and axial ligands to facilitate exfoliation of porphyrin COFs, and examine the photocatalytic activity of the resulting nanomaterials.

    • Zeyu Fan
    • , Kota Nomura
    • , Mingshan Zhu
    • , Xinxi Li
    • , Jiawei Xue
    • , Tetsuro Majima
    •  & Yasuko Osakada

News and Comment

  • Research Highlights |

    Mechanical gating of a photochemical reaction has been realized by constructing a norbornene that, when subjected to tensile stress, undergoes fission into a UV-light-sensitive diarylethene.

    • David Schilter
  • News and Views |

    Control over the length and composition of polymers is key to controlling their properties. Now, a photoswitchable catalyst is shown to allow external control over reaction rates, chain lengths and even polymer composition in ring-opening polymerizations.

    • Paula K. Kuroishi
    •  & Andrew P. Dove
    Nature Catalysis 1, 486-487
  • News and Views |

    Using infrared light to control the outcome of a chemical reaction is problematic in solution because of numerous interactions and non-specific sample heating. Now, condensed-phase results showing the vibrational enhancement of an otherwise thermally driven reaction may reinvigorate discussion of the practical applications of vibrational control.

    • Amanda S. Case
    Nature Chemistry 10, 113-114
  • News and Views |

    Microporous membranes were designed from the loose packing of two-dimensional polymer chains — a breakthrough giving both ultrahigh permeability and good selectivity for gas separations.

    • Yan Yin
    •  & Michael D. Guiver
    Nature Materials 16, 880-881