Functionalised polymers

  • A.E. Smith

    Student thesis: Doctoral ThesisDoctor of Philosophy


    Synthetic routes to polymers possessing functional groups were studied.
    Direct functionalisation of poly(vinyltoluene) by lithiation and carboxylation resulted in the expected carboxylic acid but reaction was complicated by the production of a mixture of products. Reaction occurred both at the polymer backbone and at the pendant methyl group. Reaction with ethyl formate was also difficult to control and a secondary alcohol was formed even when an excess of the carbonyl compounds was employed.
    Grignard formation of poly(bromostyrene) was successful but once formed, the derivative rearranged resulting in chain scission and degradation of the polymer. Therefore subsequent reactions of the Grignard reagent with carbonyl groups were unsuccessful in producing functionalised polymers.
    Reactions of vinyltoluene monomer were more successful. Although complications arose when lithiation and carboxylation of the monomer were carried out using lithium diisopropylamide because the carboxylic acid product reacted with the excess lithium diisopropylamide present, metallation by potassium t-butoxide followed by reaction with 2-(3-chloropropyl)-2-methyl-1,3-dioxalane resulted in the formation of 2-methyl-2(4-(vinylphenyl)-butyl-1,3,-dioxalane. The butyllithium initiated anionic polymerisation of this protected monomer resulted in a polymer which had a very narrow molecular weight distribution (Mw/Mn= 1.05) and subsequent hydrolysis of the polymer resulted in poly(6(vinylphenyl)-hexan-2-one) which was derivatised with 2,4 dinitrophenyl-hydrazine.
    Functionalisation by modification of the siloxane derivative 3-(methylpropenoxycarbonyl)ltrimethoxysilane was unsuccessful. The acid catalysed exchange reactions of this monomer with alcohols such as eugenol, octan-1-ol, pentan-1-ol, and hexan-1-ol were inefficient, resulting in a mixture of products and unreacted starting materials.
    Date of AwardDec 1988
    Original languageEnglish
    SupervisorAllan J Amass (Supervisor)


    • functionalisation
    • Grignard
    • lithiation
    • carboxylation
    • vinyltoluene
    • dioxalane
    • anionic polymerisation

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