The ultimate goal for every synthetic polymer chemist is the extensive control on the final properties of a desired product. Thus, control on the molecular level is inevitable.
Our group is specialized on the synthesis of precisely tailored polymers. Therefore, taking advantage of modern polymerization techniques (e.g. ATRP, NMP, RAFT polymerization, ROMP, ROP, ADMET), subsequently, we are combining this approach with post-polymerization modification techniques on the basis of click chemistry. As a consequence, we achieve full control of polymer architecture and the polymers functionality.
In the past, we have thus been able to promote the use of activated esters within polymer science, namely the use of pentafluorophenyl (PFP) esters. PFP esters have been prepared from acrylates, methacrylates, 4-vinylbenzoates, norbornene-carboxylic acids, etc.
Besides, we investigated the use of methyl salicylate acrylate ester as an alternative to PFP, being less cytotoxic compared to common active esters. This approach is interesting regarding approaches in the field of biological active polymers for in vivo application. Aside of active ester chemistry, we are using the whole toolbox of post-polymerization techniques in order to gain full control on the final polymer characteristics.
Our most recent achievements and goals...
Exact positioning of a single PFP functionalty in a linear polymer chain is followed by simple amidation and results in a three-arm star-shaped polymer. Furthermore, a subsequent Mitsunobu-reaction allows the attachment of a fourth arm.
Polymerization of carbene precursors leads to functional polymethylene moieties with a high density of side groups. Thus, we obtain polymeric structures bearing a functionality at every main chain C-atom. By synthesizing functional polymethylenes, we aim for exploration of the effect of high density functional side groups on post-polymerization modification and investigate the properties of the resulting polymers.