Cationic polymerizations provide a valuable strategy for preparing macromolecules with excellent control but are inherently sensitive to impurities and commonly require rigorous reagent purification, low temperatures, and strictly anhydrous reaction conditions. By using pentacarbomethoxycyclopentadiene (PCCP) as the single-component initiating organic acid, we found that a diverse library of vinyl ethers can be controllably polymerized under ambient conditions. Additionally, excellent chain-end fidelity is maintained even without rigorous monomer purification. We hypothesize that a tight ion complex between the PCCP anion and the oxocarbenium ion chain end prevents chain-transfer events and enables a polymerization with living characteristics. Furthermore, terminating the polymerization with functional nucleophiles allows for chain-end functionalization in high yields.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Colloid and Surface Chemistry