Reversible Cobalt-Carbon Bond Formation in Catalytic Chain Transfer Polymerization

Johan P.A. Heuts, Darren J. Forster, Thomas P. Davis, Bunichiro Yamada, Hirotomo Yamazoe, Makoto Azukizawa

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73 Citations (Scopus)


The reversible bond formation between cobalt(II) catalytic chain transfer agents and propagating radicals was studied using electron paramagnetic resonance and conventional kinetic measurements. It was found that this reversible cobalt-carbon bond formation has no significant effect on the catalytic chain transfer polymerization of methyl methacrylate but does affect the polymerization behavior of styrene. In both systems significant induction periods are observed which seem to disappear in the methyl methacrylate system but persist in the styrene system upon decreasing the initial concentration of the cobalt(II) complex. The overall rates of polymerizations are found to be readily described by "classical" free-radical polymerization kinetics, including a chain-length-dependent average termination rate coefficient. Furthermore, in contrast to the situation observed in methyl methacrylate polymerization where constant molecular weights are produced over the entire conversion range, it was found that the molecular weight in styrene increases with conversion until a constant molecular weight is obtained which is given by the Mayo equation. The kinetic behavior and the molecular weight evolution could simply be modeled by a reaction scheme providing a constant radical concentration and the presence of a chain transfer agent.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2511-2519
Number of pages9
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - 20 Apr 1999
Externally publishedYes

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