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CHEM 5384Polymer Characterization IILab 1: Atom Transfer Radical Polymerization of styreneMengfang Li01/29/2012Introduction:In this experiment we were introduced the method to control a radical process to prepare well-defined and functionalizable polymers. Over 100 billion pounds of synthetic polymers wereproduced each year in United alone. Chain polymerization accounts 80% of these and by far freeradical polymerization is the most commonly used reaction method in this category.Radicals are very reactive and add quickly across the double bond to form polymers. Thisprocess will terminate if the chain end reacts with another radical. This can be observed by plottingthe molecular weight as a function of conversion of monomer into polymer. As shown in Figure 1 forconventional method, high molecular weights are obtained at low conversion and remain atapproximately same level throughout the reaction. The initiator (eg. BPO or AIBN) decomposes
Figure 2. Mechanism of atom transfer radical polymerization (ATRP)