Poly(vinyl acetate) combs have been prepared via macromolecular design via interchange of xanthate (MADIX)/reversible addition-fragmentation chain-transfer (RAFT) polymerization using xanthate functionalized polymer cores. The comb backbones were prepared using well-defined poly(vinyl alcohol) PVA polymers with a degree of polymerization of 20, 100 and 170, respectively. Functionalization with xanthates via R-group or a Z-group approach resulted in the formation of macromolecular MADIX agents. While Z group designed macromolecular xanthate agents appeared to inhibit the polymerization of vinyl acetate (VAc), R group designed macromolecular xanthate agents achieved to mediate efficiently the bulk polymerization of VAc affording PVAc combs. However, the growth of the combs was accompanied at low conversions by the formation of linear polymer chains as a result of the constant initiation (AIBN) and shoulders, which can be attributed to intermolecular coupling reactions. The proportions of single chains and termination products were observed to increase with the degree of polymerization of the macromolecular MADIX agents broadening the molecular weight distribution. As a result of a stable ester link between the branches and the PVA backbone, the branched PVAc architectures were finally hydrolyzed to afford poly(vinyl alcohol) combs.
- Poly(vinyl alcohol)
- RAFT polymerization