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The metathetic degradation of polyisoprene and polybutadiene in block copolymers using Grubbs second generation catalyst

Sedransk KL, Kaminski CF, Hutchings LR, and Moggridge GD, "The metathetic degradation of polyisoprene and polybutadiene in block copolymers using Grubbs second generation catalyst", Polymer Degradation and Stability, 96 (6), pp 1074-1080, (2011), DOI:10.1016/j.polymdegradstab.2011.03.007, | pdf 


Abstract

A degradation study of polystyreneepolybutadieneepolystyrene and polyisopreneepolystyrenee polyisoprene in both dichloromethane and hexane solvents is presented. Alternative solvents for metathetic degradation provide the potential for greener chemistry, better selectivity, and control over the products. The catalyst concentration and solvent selection both determine the products formed. The degradation of polyisoprene and polybutadiene in a particular solvent was controlled by the solubility of polyisoprene/polybutadiene, and by its solubility relative to polystyrene. A large difference in solubility between the polymers in the selected solvent provides an additional driving force for block separation, encouraging reaction close to the interface between different blocks. Furthermore, solubility of the block copolymer speeds the degradation reaction. This tailoring of the reaction mechanism yields a new control over the products of polymer degradation.