Copolymerization of an excess of methyl methacrylate (MMA) relative to 2-hydroxyethyl methacrylate (HEMA) was carried out in toluene at 80°C according to both conventional and controlled Ni-mediated radical polymerizations. Reactivity ratios were derived from the copolymerization kinetics using the Jaacks method for MMA and integrated conversion equation for HEMA (rMMA = 0.62 ± 0.04; rHEMA = 2.03 ± 0.74). Poly(ethylene glycol) α-methyl ether, ω-methacrylate (PEGMA, Mn = 475 g mol-1) was substituted for HEMA in the copolymerization experiments and reactivity ratios were also determined (r MMA = 0.75 ± 0.07; rPEGMA ∼ 1.33). Both the functionalized comonomers were consumed more rapidly than MMA indicating the preferred formation of heterogeneous bottle-brush copolymer structures with bristles constituted by the hydrophilic (macro)monomers. Reactivity ratios for nickel-mediated living radical polymerization were comparable with those obtained by conventional free radical copolymerization. Interactions between functional monomers and the catalyst (NiBr2(PPh3) 2) were observed by 1H NMR spectroscopy.
- 2-hydroxyethyl methacrylate
- Controlled radical polymerization
- Jaacks method
- Nickel-mediated polymerization
- Reactivity ratios