Catalyst Revamps Radical Polymerization

Atom transfer radical polymerization may gain significant benefits from a metal-free photocatalyst.

Chemical Processing Staff
organic based photocatalyst mn

Atom transfer radical polymerization (ATRP), a technique now widely used by industry, may gain significant benefits from a metal-free photocatalyst, believe its developers at the University of California, Santa Barbara (UCSB), and the Dow Chemical Co., Midland, Mich. The organic-based catalyst avoids issues of metal contamination that can plague polymers made using traditional metal catalysts and also opens new opportunities in both polymer and small molecule chemistry, they add. “The grand challenge in ATRP has been: How can we do this without any metals,” notes Craig Hawker, director of the Dow Materials Institute at UCSB. “We looked toward developing an organic…

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