A range of well-defined hydrophilic methacrylic macromonomers has been synthesized by the judicious combination of atom transfer radical polymerization (ATRP) and copper-catalyzed 1,3-dipolar cycloaddition (azide-alkyne click chemistry). An azido a-functionalized ATRP initiator was used to produce well-defined homopolymers with terminal azide functionality via ATRP in protic media at 20 °C, with generally good control being achieved over both target molecular weight and final polydispersity (Mw/Mn = 1.10-1.35). Suitable methacrylic monomers include 2-aminoethyl methacrylate hydrochloride, 2-(diethylamino)ethyl methacrylate, 2-(dimethylamino)ethyl methacrylate, 2-hydroxyethyl methacrylate, 2-hydroxypropyl methacrylate, 2-(methacryloyloxy)ethyl phosphorylcholine, glycerol monomethacrylate, potassium 3-sulfopropyl methacrylate, and quaternized 2-(dimethylamino)ethyl methacrylate. These homopolymer precursors were then efficiently clicked using either propargyl methacrylate or propargyl acrylate to yield near-monodisperse (meth)acrylate-capped macromonomers with either cationic, anionic, nonionic, or zwitterionic character. Moreover, this generic route to well-defined hydrophilic macromonomers is also suitable for “one-pot” syntheses, as exemplified for 2-hydroxyethyl methacrylate and glycerol monomethacrylate-based macromonomers.
- atom transfer radical polymerization