Skip to main content

Thank you for visiting You are using a browser version with limited support for CSS. To obtain the best experience, we recommend you use a more up to date browser (or turn off compatibility mode in Internet Explorer). In the meantime, to ensure continued support, we are displaying the site without styles and JavaScript.

Sulfur-rich polymers

Making light of inverse vulcanization

Inverse vulcanization uses high temperatures to form sulfur-rich polymers. Now, using a photoinduced method, polymerization occurs at ambient conditions enabling a broader selection of viable comonomers compared with existing routes, as well as eliminating the formation of toxic gas.

This is a preview of subscription content, access via your institution

Access options

Buy article

Get time limited or full article access on ReadCube.


All prices are NET prices.

Fig. 1: Photoinduced inverse vulcanization of elemental sulfur and the range of monomers.


  1. Chung, W. J. et al. Nat. Chem. 5, 518–524 (2013).

    Article  CAS  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  2. Worthington, M. J. H., Kucera, R. L. & Chalker, J. M. Green Chem. 19, 2748–2761 (2017).

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  3. Chalker, J. M., Worthington, M. J. H., Lundquist, N. A. & Esdaile, L. J. Top. Curr. Chem. 377, 16 (2019).

    Article  Google Scholar 

  4. Lee, T., Dirlam, P. T., Njardarson, J. T., Glass, R. S. & Pyun, J. J. Am. Chem. Soc. 144, 5–22 (2022).

    Article  CAS  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  5. Wu, X. et al. Nat. Commun. 10, 647 (2019).

    Article  PubMed  PubMed Central  Google Scholar 

  6. Zhang, Y., Konopka, K. M., Glass, R. S., Char, K. & Pyun, J. Polym. Chem. 8, 5167–5173 (2017).

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  7. Westerman, C. R. & Jenkins, C. L. Macromolecules 51, 7233–7238 (2018).

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  8. Boyd, D. A. Angew. Chem. Int. Ed. 55, 15486–15502 (2016).

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  9. Jia, J. et al. Nat. Chem. (2022).

    Article  PubMed  Google Scholar 

Download references

Author information

Authors and Affiliations


Corresponding author

Correspondence to Courtney L. Jenkins.

Ethics declarations

Competing interests

The authors declare no competing interests.

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Verify currency and authenticity via CrossMark

Cite this article

Dunn, J., Jenkins, C.L. Making light of inverse vulcanization. Nat. Synth 1, 835–836 (2022).

Download citation

  • Published:

  • Issue Date:

  • DOI:


Quick links

Nature Briefing

Sign up for the Nature Briefing newsletter — what matters in science, free to your inbox daily.

Get the most important science stories of the day, free in your inbox. Sign up for Nature Briefing