Enhanced spin capturing polymerization: An efficient and versatile protocol for controlling molecular weight distributions

Edgar H.H. Wong, Thomas Junkers, Christopher Barner-Kowollik

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43 Citations (Scopus)


A study was conducted to demonstrate a control mechanism employing a well-known class of radical spin traps (nitrones) as control reagents to efficiently capture macroradicals by forming irreversibly terminating macronitroxides that both enhance and control cross-termination reactions, thereby allowing for the synthesis of polymeric materials with defined properties. The efficiency and versatility of this technique, called enhanced spin capturing polymerization (ESCP), are exemplified by three distinctively different monomer systems. These monomer systems include the thermal polymerization of styrene and butyl acrylate (BA) in bulk and UV-induced polymerization of N-isopropylacrylamide (NIPAAm) in aqueous solution. The study has also shown how the molecular weight distributions of the polymers prepared through ESCP can be accurately predicted.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)7273-7279
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Polymer Science, Part A: Polymer Chemistry
Issue number21
Publication statusPublished - 1 Nov 2008
Externally publishedYes


  • Block polymers
  • Degree of polymerization (DP)
  • Kinetics (polym.)
  • Molecular weight distribution/molar mass distribution
  • Polystyrene
  • Radical spin traps
  • Water-soluble polymers

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