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Synthesis of a Polymerizable Fluorosurfactant for the Construction of Stable Nanostructured Proton-Conducting Membranes

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journal contribution
posted on 15.10.2010 by Mohan N. Wadekar, Wolter F. Jager, Ernst J. R. Sudhölter, Stephen J. Picken
The synthesis of the polymerizable fluorinated surfactant sodium 1,1,2,2-tetrafluoro-2-(1,1,2,2-tetrafluoro-2-(4-vinylphenyl)ethoxy)ethanesulfonate (1) and a number of related fluorocarbon compounds is described. Compound 1 is synthesized using a copper-mediated cross-coupling reaction of 4-bromobenzaldehyde and sodium 5-iodooctafluoro-3-oxapentanesulfonate. The resulting benzaldehyde is converted to a styrene unit using a Wittig reaction with methyltriphenylphosphonium bromide in acetonitrile, using DBU as a base. This strategy for converting an iodo-functionalized fluorosurfactant to a styrene-containing fluorosurfactant is highly efficient because both reactions are performed in polar solvents and are compatible with the sulfonate moiety. In addition, the copper-mediated cross-coupling reaction is most efficient with electron-poor aryl bromides like 4-bromobenzaldehyde. We wish to employ 1 for the construction of nanostructured membranes by polymerization of 1 in a microemulsion or in lyotropic liquid crystalline phases.