H. Bouchekif, A.I. Sulhami, R.D. Alghamdi, Y. Gnanou and N. Hadjichristidis
Polym. Chem., 6,
A series of novel, well-defined triblock (PnBVE-b-PCEVE-b-PSiDEGVE) and pentablock (PSiDEGVE-b-PCEVE-b-PnBVE-b-PCEVE-b-PSiDEGVE) terpolymers of n-butyl vinyl ether (nBVE), 2-chloroethyl vinyl ether (CEVE) and tert-butyldimethylsilyl ethylene glycol vinyl ether (SiEGVE) were synthesized by sequential base-assisted living cationic polymerization. The living character of the homopolymerization of the three VE monomers and the crossover reaction resulting in the formation of well-defined block copolymers were investigated in various solvents (toluene, dichloromethane and n-hexane) using either a monofunctional [nBVE-acetic acid adduct (nBEA), CEVE-acetic acid adduct (CEEA) and SiDEGVE-acetic acid adduct (SiDEGEA)] or a difunctional [1,4-cyclohexane-1,4-diyl bis(2-methoxyethyl acetate) (cHDMEA)] initiator. All initiators are structurally equivalent to the dormant species of the corresponding monomers in order to achieve fast initiation. The optimal conditions of polymerization were achieved in n-hexane at −20 °C, in the presence of 1 M AcOEt (base). Good control over the number average molecular weight (Mn) and the polydispersity index (PDI) was obtained only at [Et3Al2Cl3]0 = [Chain-end]0 ≤ 10 mM. 2,6-Di-tert-butylpyridine (DtBP) was used as a non-nucleophilic proton trap to suppress any protonic initiation from moisture (i.e., Et3Al2Cl3·H2O). Well-defined PnBVEn-b-PCEVEp-b-PSiDEGVEq and PSiDEGVEq-b-PCEVEp-b-PnBVEn-b-PCEVEp-b-PSiDEGVEq terpolymers with a high crossover efficiency, no PCEVE-induced physical gelation, and predictable Mn and PDI < 1.15 were synthesized successfully provided that the targeted DPCEVE/DPnBVE ratio (i.e., p/n) did not exceed 2 and 0.2, respectively. The quantitative desilylation of the PSiEGVE by n-Bu4N+F− in THF at 0 °C led to triblock and pentablock terpolymers in which the PCEVE is the central block and the polyalcohol is the outer block. The thermal properties of the synthesized materials were examined by differential scanning calorimetry.