Macromolecules, Vol.53, No.5, 1550-1556, 2020
Xanthene Dye-Functionalized Conjugated Porous Polymers as Robust and Reusable Photocatalysts for Controlled Radical Polymerization
Photoinduced electron/energy transfer-reversible addition-fragmentation chain transfer (PET-RAFT) polymerization represents a versatile and highly efficient method for polymerizations of wide-ranging monomer variances upon solar energy harvesting. Although significant progress has been achieved, several drawbacks are still associated with existing photocatalysts, such as toxicity of transition metals, high cost, poor stability, and unavoidable purification procedures because of the photobleaching effect, to name a few. Herein, 1,4-diethynylbenzene-linked xanthene dye-conjugated porous polymers (CPPs) have been established as potential heterogenous photocatalysts of PET-RAFT polymerization. With this two-dimensional planar architecture, we demonstrate dual-stimuli toggling of RAFT polymerization using two different external physical manipulations: light "ON"/"OFF" and solution pH "LOW"/"HIGH". In addition, these CPPs endowed radical polymerizations with various impressive features such as compatibility of diverse monomer formulations, unique oxygen tolerance, and ppm-level catalyst dosage. Demonstrations of chain extension and catalyst recycling further highlight the robustness and performance of this CPP catalyst. Through the study of structure-property relationship using the experimental analyses, we envisage that a series of xanthene dye-functionalized CPPs can be developed as visible light-absorbing organocatalysts rivaling transition-metal photocatalysts.