Free radical initiation mechanisms in the polymerization of methyl methacrylate and styrene with 1,1,3,3-tetramethylbutyl peroxypivalate: Addition of neopentyl radicals

Tomoyuki Nakamura, W. Ken Busfield, Ian D. Jenkins, Ezio Rizzardo, San H. Thang, Shuji Suyama

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The reactions of 1,1,3,3-tetramethylbutyl (tert-octyl) peroxypivalate (1) with methyl methacrylate (MMA) and styrene in the presence of the free radical scavenger 1,1,3,3-tetramethyl-2,3-dihydro-1H-isoindol-2-yloxyl (2) have been studied at 60°C. tert-Butyl and tert-octyloxyl radicals (3) were generated from the thermolysis of 1. The predominant unimolecular reactions of 3, that is, β-scission to form neopentyl radicals (14b) and a 1,5-H shift to form 4-hydroxy-2,2,4-trimethylpentyl radicals (14c), were observed in both monomer systems. The resulting alkyl radicals underwent selective addition to the two monomers. The relative reactivities of the alkyl radicals toward addition to the monomers were obtained from competitive addition/trapping reactions. The absolute rate constants for the addition of alkyl radicals 14b and 14e to the two monomers at 60°C were estimated to be 9.5 x 105 and 2.6 x 105 M-1 s-1 to MMA and 4.5 x 105 and 0.7 x 105 M-1 s-1 to styrene, respectively. The low reactivities of 3 and 14e toward addition to MMA and styrene were attributed to steric effects. Steric effects were also responsible for the low rate of the 1,5-H shift in 3.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)10987-10991
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of the American Chemical Society
Issue number45
Publication statusPublished - 30 Dec 1997
Externally publishedYes

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