Dimerization and polymerization of isoprene at high pressures
The high-pressure reactivity of isoprene has been studied at room temperature up to 2.6 GPa by using the diamond anvil cell technique in combination with Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy. Both dimerization and polymerization reactions take place above 1.1 GPa. At this pressure, the two processes are well separated in time, the dimerization being the only one occurring in the first 150 h. Both processes simultaneously occur as the pressure increases. The reaction product is composed of a volatile fraction, identified as sylvestrene, and a transparent rubberlike solid formed by cis-1,4- and 3,4-polyisoprene. The activation volume of the dimerization reaction has been obtained from the kinetic data. The photoinduced reaction, studied at room temperature for two different pressures, takes place through a two-photon absorption process, and the threshold pressure is lowered to 0.5 GPa. At this pressure, both the dimerization and polymerization processes occur, but the dimerization is not as selective as in the purely pressure-induced reaction. 4-Ethenyl-2,4-dimethylcyclohexene is obtained in addition to sylvestrene. By increasing the pressure, the photoinduced reaction becomes more selective, and the monomer is quantitatively transformed into the same polymer obtained in the purely pressure-induced reaction.
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