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|Title:||Modeling of solution and surface–initiated atom transfer radical polymerization|
|Keywords:||Atom transfer radical polymerization (ATRP);Kinetic modeling;Monte Carlo simulation;Bond-fluctuation method;Surface-initiated polymerization;SI-ATRP;Graft polymerization;Molecular weight distribution;Chain length distribution;Polydispersity index;Dispersity;Radical termination;Controlled radical polymerization|
|Abstract:||Controlled radical polymerization (CRP) can be viewed as the middle ground between living anionic polymerization (LAP) and conventional free radical polymerization (FRP). It combines the precise control over polymer structure offered by LAP, under a tolerant reaction condition similar to FRP. One of the most studied CRP is atom transfer radical polymerization (ATRP), with over 10,000 papers published since its introduction in 1995. Despite the numerous studies, knowledge on its fundamental mechanism is still lacking, as evident from the lack of expression for full MWD and polydispersity that account for termination reaction. Since termination is unavoidable in ATRP, the existing expressions give inaccurate predictions as dead chains accumulate. In this study, we derived expressions for full MWD at low conversion and for polydispersity. These expressions allow us to quantify and gain better understanding on the contribution of termination. In addition, the resulting polydispersity expression shows better agreement than the existing equation when correlated with experiment data. In addition to the aforementioned questions, there are also controversies regarding the kinetics of surface-initiated ATRP, with researchers divided into two schools of theories. We evaluated the validity of these theories by comparing their predictions to experimental trends. Both theories were found to be inadequate in explaining all the experimental observations, thus triggering an investigation of the graft density. Graft density is an important determining property for polymer brushes, yet little is known about what affects its final value. Through simulations, we investigated the effect of experiment factors on the grafting density. A decrease in the amount of deactivator is found to decrease the grafting density, which could be explained by an increase in the number of monomers added per activation cycle. This knowledge allows us to explain the conflicting experiment observations regarding the growth trends of polymer layers reported in the literatures.|
|Appears in Collections:||Open Access Dissertations and Theses|
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