Abstract: Organocatalyzed atom transfer radical polymerization (O-ATRP) has emerged as a metal-free variant of historically transition-metal reliant atom transfer radical polymerization. Strongly reducing organic photoredox catalysts have proven capable of mediating O-ATRP. To date, operation of photoinduced O-ATRP has been demonstrated in batch reactions. However, continuous flow approaches can provide efficient irradiation reaction conditions and thus enable increased polymerization performance. Herein, the adaptation of O-ATRP to a continuous flow approach has been performed with multiple visible-light absorbing photoredox catalysts. Using continuous flow conditions, improved polymerization results were achieved, consisting of narrow molecular weight distributions as low as 1.05 and quantitative initiator efficiencies. This system demonstrated success with 0.01% photocatalyst loadings and a diverse methacrylate monomer scope. Additionally, successful chain-extension polymerizations using 0.01 mol % photocatalyst loadings reveal continuous flow O-ATRP to be a robust and versatile method of polymerization.
Reference: Ramsey, B. L.; Pearson, R. M.; Beck, L. R.; Miyake, G. M., Photoinduced Organocatalyzed Atom Transfer Radical Polymerization Using Continuous Flow. Macromolecules 2017, 50, 2668.