Facile synthesis of well-defined hydrophilic methacrylic macromonomers using ATRP and click chemistry

Paul Topham, Nicolas Sandon, Elizabeth S. Read, Jeppe Madsen, Anthony J. Ryan, Steven P. Armes

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


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.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)9542-9547
Number of pages6
Issue number24
Publication statusPublished - 14 Nov 2008


  • atom transfer radical polymerization
  • ATRP
  • homopolymers
  • chemistry


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