Reversed Controlled Polymerization (RCP): Depolymerization from Well-Defined Polymers to Monomers

Glen R. Jones, Hyun Suk Wang, Kostas Parkatzidis, Richard Whitfield, Nghia P. Truong, Athina Anastasaki

Research output: Contribution to journalReview ArticleResearchpeer-review

53 Citations (Scopus)


Controlled polymerization methods are well-established synthetic protocols for the design and preparation of polymeric materials with a high degree of precision over molar mass and architecture. Exciting recent work has shown that the high end-group fidelity and/or functionality inherent in these techniques can enable new routes to depolymerization under relatively mild conditions. Converting polymers back to pure monomers by depolymerization is a potential solution to the environmental and ecological concerns associated with the ultimate fate of polymers. This perspective focuses on the emerging field of depolymerization from polymers synthesized by controlled polymerizations including radical, ionic, and metathesis polymerizations. We provide a critical review of current literature categorized according to polymerization technique and explore numerous concepts and ideas which could be implemented to further enhance depolymerization including lower temperature systems, catalytic depolymerization, increasing polymer scope, and controlled depolymerization.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)9898-9915
Number of pages18
JournalJournal of the American Chemical Society
Issue number18
Publication statusPublished - 10 May 2023
Externally publishedYes

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