Metal-Free Removal of Polymer Chain Ends Using Light

Kaila M. Mattson, Christian W. Pester, Will R. Gutekunst, Andy T. Hsueh, Emre H. Discekici, Yingdong Luo, Bernhard V. K. J. Schmidt, Alaina J. McGrath, Paul G. Clark, and Craig J. Hawker

A light-mediated method for the facile removal of polymer end groups that are common to controlled radical polymerization techniques is presented. This metal-free strategy is general, being effective for chlorine, bromine, and thiocarbonylthio moieties as well as a number of different polymer families (styrenic, acrylic, and methacrylic). In addition to solution reactions, this process is readily translated to thin films, where light mediation allows the straightforward fabrication of hierarchically patterned polymer brushes.