Controlled Cationic Polymerization: Single-Component Initiation under Ambient Conditions

Veronika Kottisch, Jacob O'Leary, Quentin Michaudel, Erin E. Stache, Tristan H. Lambert, Brett P. Fors

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

36 Scopus citations


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.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)10605-10609
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of the American Chemical Society
Issue number27
StatePublished - Jul 10 2019
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Chemistry
  • Biochemistry
  • Catalysis
  • Colloid and Surface Chemistry


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