Metal-Free Preparation of Linear and Crosslinked Polydicyclopentadiene

Metal-free ring-opening metathesis polymerization (ROMP) utilizes organic photoredox mediators as alternatives to traditional metal-based ROMP initiators to allow the preparation of polymers without residual metal contamination. Herein we report studies exploring the use of endo-dicyclopentadiene (DCPD), a common ROMP monomer, to form linear polyDCPD and copolymers with norbornene. Subsequent cross-linking of the linear polyDCPD using thiol–ene chemistry allows for a completely metal-free preparation of cross-linked polyDCPD. Furthermore, the examination of a number of structurally related monomers offers insights into mechanistic details of this polymerization and demonstrates new monomers that can be utilized for metal-free ROMP.

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