Flow Chemistry: Integrated Approaches for Practical Applications
Chapter 8: Ionic Polymerisation and New Approaches to Polymerisation under Flow Conditions
Published:18 Sep 2019
Special Collection: 2019 ebook collection , ECCC Environmental eBooks 1968-2022Series: Green Chemistry
L. Brocken and I. R. Baxendale, in Flow Chemistry: Integrated Approaches for Practical Applications, ed. S. V. Luis and E. Garcia-Verdugo, The Royal Society of Chemistry, 2019, ch. 8, pp. 257-315.
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Although ionic polymerisations are a valuable methodology historically they are less widely used because they are considered capricious, requiring significantly more optimisation due to their sensitivity to the specific reaction and processing conditions. Increasingly though flow processing regimes are being successfully implemented to allow better control over reaction parameters and facilitate a more consistent processing environment; this has also shown promising results for challenging reactions such as ionic polymerisation. Furthermore, as flow chemistry is becoming more widely implemented additional and complementary processing tools such as photochemical, supported reagents and enzymatic based plug-in reactors are being evaluated for their ability to expand the range of polymers on offer. Supplementing this era of advanced and accelerated synthesis is an explosion in direct integrated analysis routines and the development of smart self-optimising platforms capable of self-sustained assembly of new polymers. Whilst the machines have been taking over the physical synthesis, chemists have been starting to think beyond simply the isolated stage of polymer synthesis, considering options to create more encompassing work-flows. The next generations of polymer synthesis will encompass all aspects of synthesis, purification and final analysis as a single unified sequence. These new polymer products will ultimately be used for new applications such as light-emitting diodes and in photovoltaics.