Over the past decade, the use of photocatalysts (PCs) in controlled polymerization has brought new opportunities in sophisticated macromolecular synthesis. However, the selection of PCs in these systems has been typically based on laborious trial-and-error strategies. To tackle this limitation, computer-guided rational design of PCs based on knowledge of structure-property-performance relationships has emerged. These rational strategies provide rapid and economic methodologies for tuning the performance and functionality of a polymerization system, thus providing further opportunities for polymer science. This review provides an overview of PCs employed in photocontrolled polymerization systems and summarizes their progression from early systems to the current state-of-the-art. Background theories on electronic transitions are also introduced to establish the structure-property-performance relationships from a perspective of quantum chemistry. Typical examples for each type of structure-property relationships are then presented to enlighten future design of PCs for photocontrolled polymerization.
Reference: Wu, C.; Corrigan, N.; Lim, C.-H.; Liu, W.; Miyake, G.; Boyer, C., Rational Design of Photocatalysts for Controlled Polymerization: Effect of Structures on Photocatalytic Activities. Chemical Reviews 2022, 122, 5476-5518.