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Methods & Processes
Free vs. Controlled Radical Polymerization
Posted: March 13, 2007
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These polymerization types are similar in that they polymerize monomer. Such approaches need to be quenched to stop the polymerization. They are monitored using the same analytical chemistry such as NMR or GPC. There are salient differences, however; controlled living radical polymerization techniques use different initiators/initiating species.
Controlled living radical polymerization normally shows first order kinetics, which makes it very easy to get an exact molecular weight. The uniformity of polymer distribution, the so-called “polydispersity” is much more narrow using controlled living radical polymerization.
Standard radical polymerization provides cost-effective, easy industrial methods to produce many products that are not affected by the drawbacks defined above. CRP is a method of choice to develop polymers with narrowly defined structures and molecular weights and low concentrations of residual monomers.