Semiautomated Parallel RAFT Copolymerization of Isoprene with Glycidyl Methacrylate

Copolymerization of isoprene (IP) with glycidyl methacrylate (GMA) was performed under RAFT (reversible addition–fragmentation chain-transfer) polymerization conditions in a platform for high-output experimentation. Covering the range between 1 and 0.2 molar fraction of IP in the feed, four sets of reactions were carried out at 10, 15, 20, and 30 h at 115 °C. The kinetic data obtained were used to estimate the reactivity ratios using a nonlinear least-squares approach (NLLS). Reactivity ratios rGMA = 0.61 and rIP = 0.74 indicate that both monomers tend to crosspropagate in agreement with known literature values. Concerning the RAFT study, relatively good control and livingness of the copolymerization was observed except for the experiment in which IP represents 20 mol % in the feed. 1H NMR characterization confirmed the presence of both monomers in the final copolymer, particularly the presence of the epoxy ring of GMA which is susceptible to post polymerization reactions. Finally, preliminary results on the hydrogenation of various polymers are discussed.