Polymer end group modifications and polymer conjugations via "click" chemistry employing microreactor technology

Joke Vandenbergh, Tiago Tura, Evelien Baeten, Thomas Junkers

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31 Citations (Scopus)


This study presents the development of microreactor protocols for the successful continuous flow end group modification of atom transfer radical polymerization precursor polymers into azide end-capped materials and the subsequent copper-catalyzed azide alkyne click reactions with alkyne polymers, in flow. By using a microreactor, the reaction speed of the azidation of poly(butyl acrylate), poly(methyl acrylate), and polystyrene can be accelerated from hours to seconds and full end group conversion is obtained. Subsequently, copper-catalyzed click reactions are executed in a flow reactor at 80 C. Good coupling efficiencies are observed and various block copolymer combinations are prepared. Furthermore, the flow reaction can be carried out in only 40 min, while a batch procedure takes several hours to reach completion. The results indicate that the use of a continuous flow reactor for end group modifications as well as click reactions has clear benefits towards the development and improvement of well-defined polymer materials.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1263-1274
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Polymer Science, Part A: Polymer Chemistry
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - 1 May 2014
Externally publishedYes


  • atom transfer radical polymerization (ATRP)
  • azidation
  • click chemistry
  • click reactions
  • diblock copolymers
  • microflow chemistry
  • microreactor technology
  • radical polymerization
  • reversible addition fragmentation chain transfer (RAFT)

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