The reversible addition fragmentation chain transfer (RAFT) polymerization of 1-ethoxyethyl acrylate (EEA) was demonstrated. Temperature optimization revealed an optimum polymerization temperature of 70 °C. Deprotection of the p(EEA) could be performed by a simple heating step, under mild conditions leading to well-defined poly(acrylic acid) (p(AA)) and under more severe conditions resulting in cross-linked networks of p(AA). In addition, block copolymers with a poly(methyl acrylate), a poly(n-butyl acrylate), a poly(methyl methacrylate), or a poly(N,N-(dimethylamino)ethyl methacrylate) first block and a p(EEA) second block were successfully synthesized by RAFT polymerization in toluene as was demonstrated by GPC and 1H NMR characterization. For all these experiments, a high-throughput workflow procedure was used. Deprotection of the p(EEA) containing block copolymers was also performed, resulting in well-defined p(AA) containing materials as evidenced by both GPC and 1H NMR spectroscopy.
Hoogenboom, R., Schubert, U. S., Van Camp, W., & Du Prez, F. E. (2005). RAFT Polymerization of 1-Ethoxyethyl Acrylate: A Novel Route toward Near-Monodisperse Poly(acrylic acid) and Derived Block Copolymer Structures. Macromolecules, 38(18), 7653-7659. https://doi.org/10.1021/ma050906v