Established and emerging strategies for polymer chain-end modification

Lunn, D. J., Discekici, E. H., Read de Alaniz, J., Gutekunst, W. R., Hawker, C. J.
J. Polym. Sci., Part A: Polym. Chem.
55 (18), 2903–2914

The development of “controlled” and “living” polymerization processes with high end-group fidelity has enabled an unprecedented range of polymeric materials with specific chain-end functionality to be prepared. This highlight provides an overview of available strategies and evaluation of recent approaches for the chain-end functionalization of polymers prepared through controlled chain-growth polymerizations. As a tribute to Professor Robert B. Grubbs on the occasion of his 75th birthday, we also take this opportunity to highlight methods for the chain-end modification of polymers prepared by ring-opening metathesis polymerization within the broader context of functional group tolerant, living polymerizations. Finally, we focus attention toward new directions in polymer chain-end modifications, describing existing gaps in current strategies, and detailing recently reported protocols that show significant improvements over traditional methods.