Characteristics and Mechanism of Vinyl Ether Cationic Polymerization in Aqueous Media Initiated by Alcohol/B(C₆F₅)₃/Et₂O.


Department of Materials Science and Engineering, Beijing Institute of Petrochemical Technology, Beijing 102617, China. [Email]


Aqueous cationic polymerizations of vinyl ethers (isobutyl vinyl ether (IBVE), 2-chloroethyl vinyl ether (CEVE), and n-butyl vinyl ether (n-BVE)) were performed for the first time by a CumOH/B(C₆F₅)₃/Et₂O initiating system in an air atmosphere. The polymerization proceeded in a reproducible manner through the careful design of experimental conditions (adding initiator, co-solvents, and surfactant or decreasing the reaction temperature), and the polymerization characteristics were systematically tested and compared in the suspension and emulsion. The significant difference with traditional cationic polymerization is that the polymerization rate in aqueous media using B(C₆F₅)₃/Et₂O as a co-initiator decreases when the temperature is lowered. The polymerization sites are located on the monomer/water surface. Density functional theory (DFT) was applied to investigate the competition between H₂O and alcohol combined with B(C₆F₅)₃ for providing a theoretical basis. The effectiveness of the proposed mechanism for the aqueous cationic polymerization of vinyl ethers using CumOH/B(C₆F₅)₃/Et₂O was confirmed.


aqueous cationic polymerization,density functional theory,emulsion polymerization,poly(vinyl ether),suspension polymerization,tris(pentafluorophenyl)borane,

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