Access to Functionalized Materials by Metal-Free Ring-Opening Metathesis Polymerization of Active Esters and Divergent Postpolymerization Modification

ACS Macro Lett. 2024, 13, 2, 144–150

Metal-free ring-opening metathesis polymerization (MF-ROMP) is an emerging polymerization strategy that provides access to ROMP materials by using organic initiators and photoredox catalysts. Unlike metal-mediated ROMP, MF-ROMP is not highly tolerant toward functionalized monomers. Herein, we report that pentafluorophenyl esters are polymerizable under MF-ROMP conditions to produce homopolymers, statistical copolymers, and block copolymers. Amine coupling agents were then used to install a range of functional groups via acyl substitution including alkynes, amino acid derivatives, fluorophores, and redox active moieties. Overall, these findings provide a framework to prepare functionalized ROMP polymers without the risk of metal contamination.

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