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When the radical polymerization inhibitor 1,4-naphthoquinone (NQ) acts on styrene, the radical capture reaction greatly contributes carbon atoms. In this study, the 1-phenethyl radical, which is a model for the growth radicals of polystyrene, was reacted with NQ using four radical sources, and we identified the reaction product. We confirmed that the same compound was formed upon addition of a small amount of NQ to heated styrene. The frontier orbital energy levels and reaction path energy diagrams were calculated, which provided numerical values to support our experimental results.
In a ruthenium-catalysed living ring-opening metathesis polymerization, one metal centre is required for each polymer chain, and this requires high catalyst loadings when aiming for short polymer chains. Now, it has been shown that a degenerative reversible chain-transfer process enables the synthesis of ring-opened metathesis polymers with controlled molecular weight, using only catalytic amounts of a ruthenium complex.
The deviant and irregular polymerization behavior of 4-acetoxystyrene was found through the detailed study on the ATRP of various para-substituted styrenes bearing electron-withdrawing and electron-donating groups. The relationship between the rate constant for polymerization rate and the Hammett parameter was discussed.
Gold is not as inert as was believed — it can promote molecular synthesis. A study uses scanning tunnelling microscopy to catch gold in the act as it guides the formation of one-dimensional polymers from saturated hydrocarbons.
Autonomous propulsion of microparticles using catalytic olefin polymerization, and directional rotation of a molecule on a metal surface using electrons from the tip of a scanning tunnelling microscope.