Living free-radical polymerization of styrene under a constant source of γ radiation

John F. Quinn, Leonie Barner, Ezio Rizzardo, Thomas P. Davis

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Living polymerization of styrene was observed using γ radiation as a source of initiation and 1-phenylethyl phenyldithioacetate as a reversible addition-fragmentation chain transfer (RAFT) agent. The γ radiation had little or no detrimental effect on the RAFT agent, with the molecular weight of the polymer increasing linearly with conversion (up to the maximum measured conversions of 30%). The polymerization had kinetics (polym.) consistent with those of a living polymerization (first order in monomer) and proportional to the square root of the radiation-dose rate. This initiation technique may facilitate the grafting of narrow polydispersity, well-defined polymers onto existing polymer surfaces as well as allow a wealth of kinetic experiments using the constant radical flux generated by γ radiation.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)19-25
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Polymer Science, Part A: Polymer Chemistry
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2002
Externally publishedYes


  • Kinetics (polym.)
  • Living polymerization
  • Radiation
  • Radical polymerization
  • Reversible addition-fragmentation chain transfer (RAFT)

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