Precision Polymer Design in Microstructured Flow Reactors: Improved Control and First Upscale at Once

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Continuous flow synthesis techniques have in recent years conquered laboratory scale synthesis, yet within the field of precision polymer synthesis its use is still not fully established despite the large advantages that can be gained from switching from classical batch-wise chemistry to flow chemistry, often already by using relatively simple chip-based or cheap tubular micro- and mesoscaled reactors. Translating a polymerization from batch to continuous flow marks not only a mere change in reactor engineering, but also leads to numerous advantages in the polymerization with respect to kinetics of processes and especially product quality. In flow, polymerizations are not only speed up, they also provide materials with better dispersities and higher chain end fidelities when conditions are chosen accordingly. The underpinning effects causing these improvements are demonstrated and discussed. Further, also information on required laboratory equipment and recent developments in online reaction monitoring are highlighted to give newcomers to the field an idea about the potential of continuous flow polymerization. (Figure presented.).

Original languageEnglish
Article number1600421
JournalMacromolecular Chemistry and Physics
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2017
Externally publishedYes


  • continuous flow synthesis
  • microreactor
  • online monitoring
  • precision polymers

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