Journal of Polymer Science Part A: Polymer Chemistry, Vol.45, No.11, 2212-2224, 2007
Atom-transfer radical polymerization of styrene with bifunctional and monofunctional initiators: Experimental and mathematical modeling results
Bulk atom transfer radical polymerization (ATRP) of styrene was carried out at 110 degrees C using benzal bromide as bifunctional initiator and 1-bromoethyl benzene as monofunctional initiator. CuBr/2,2'-bipyridyl was used as the ATRP catalyst. The polymerization kinetic data for styrene with both initiators was measured and compared with a mathematical model based on the method of moments and another one using Monte Carlo simulation. An empirical correlation was incorporated into the model to account for diffusion-controlled termination reactions. Both models can predict monomer conversion, polymer molecular weight averages, and polydispersity index. In addition, the Monte Carlo model can also predict the full molecular weight distribution of the polymer. Our experimental results agree with our model predictions that bifunctional initiators can produce polymers with higher molecular weights and narrower molecular weight distributions than monofunctional initiators. (C) 2007 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.