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Modulating the Depolymerization of Self-Immolative Brush Polymers with Poly(benzyl ether) Backbones

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journal contribution
posted on 03.04.2018, 12:38 by Yue Xiao, Hui Li, Bohan Zhang, Zehong Cheng, Yang Li, Xuyu Tan, Ke Zhang
We have synthesized a series of stimuli-responsive brush polymers by grafting azide-terminated side chains onto a self-immolative, alkyne-bearing poly­(benzyl ether) backbone, which is prepared by anionic polymerization of quinone methide-based monomers. Upon exposure to a decapping reagent (Pd(0) or F), these brush polymers undergo an irreversible degradation cascade from head to tail to yield individual side chains. It is observed that several factors affect the depolymerization kinetics, including solvent polarity, type of counterion, the rate of the decapping chemistry, and interestingly, the rigidity of the side chains.