Polymerization mechanisms

A polymerization mechanism is the sequence of elementary chemical reactions by which polymerization – the process of converting monomer molecules into a polymer – proceeds.

Latest Research and Reviews

  • Research
    | Open Access

    Photo-controlled living polymerization has received great attention in recent years but the reports on photo-controlled living cationic polymerization are limited. Here, the authors demonstrate a metal-free and visible light-controlled living cationic polymerization using a photocatalyst and a phosphate as the chain transfer agent for the polymerization of 4-methoxystyrene.

    • Lei Wang
    • , Yupo Xu
    •  & Yongfeng Zhou
  • Research |

    Mannich-type polycondensation of diamines, bisphenols and PF was conducted in CHCl3, CHCl3/triethylamine, and CHCl3/triethanolamine, respectively. The products were greatly affected by the solvents used. Owing to the combination of alkalinity and solvation effect of triethanolamine, CHCl3/triethanolamine was preferable for Mannich-type polycondensation which gave main-chain benzoxazines possessing Mn up to 10,000, oxazine content >80.0% and yield >96.0%.

    • Ping Wang
    • , Xuya Liu
    •  & Po Yang
  • Research |

    No new chemical compounds were found in the copolymer acrylamide – acrylonitrile – sodium 2-acrylamido-2-methylpropanesulfonate with the composition of [72]:[10]:[18] that was subjected to thermohydrolysis at temperatures up to 160 °C, with the exception of carboxyl groups in place of amides. Thermohydrolysis up to 200 °C causes partial degradation and changes in the acrylate copolymer. The intrinsic viscosity, molecular weight and average sizes of the solvated copolymer macromolecular coils were found to decrease with increasing hydrothermal treatment temperature.

    • Anton I. Nechaev
    • , Natalia S. Voronina
    •  & Viktor A. Valtsifer
  • Research
    | Open Access

    Photo- and thermo-activated polymerization and melting processes are dominant in Additive Manufacturing (AM) while ultrasound activated sonochemical reactions have not been explored for AM so far. Here, the authors demonstrate 3D printing of structures using acoustic cavitation produced directly by focused ultrasound which creates sonochemical reactions in highly localized cavitation regions.

    • Mohsen Habibi
    • , Shervin Foroughi
    •  & Muthukumaran Packirisamy
  • Research |

    In situ scanning tunnelling microscopy reveals the dynamic nature of the early stages of two-dimensional (2D) polymer formation and crystallization at the solid–liquid interface.

    • Gaolei Zhan
    • , Zhen-Feng Cai
    •  & Steven De Feyter
    Nature 603, 835-840

News and Comment

  • News & Views |

    The development of feasible routes for the valorization of waste plastics is an urgent challenge to be solved. Now, a strategy is introduced for the selective production of hydrogen-rich gas and multi-walled carbon nanotubes in a single-step process using an FeAlOx catalyst and microwave irradiation.

    • Gartzen Lopez
    •  & Laura Santamaria
    Nature Catalysis 3, 861-862
  • Research Highlights |

    One can combine two distinct chain-transfer agents to tune the dispersity of vinyl polymers. The polymer chains remain living and can be transformed into diblock copolymers.

    • David Schilter
  • News & Views |

    A heterodinuclear MgCo catalyst has been shown to be highly active for the copolymerization of CO2 and epoxides under low (atmospheric) CO2 pressures. Its performance arises from the intramolecular synergy between the two metals, which adopt distinct roles and mediate each other’s reactivity during catalysis.

    • Xiao-Bing Lu
    Nature Chemistry 12, 324-326