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J Am Chem Soc. 2003 May 28;125(21):6503-16.

Universal iterative strategy for the divergent synthesis of dendritic macromolecules from conventional monomers by a combination of living radical polymerization and irreversible TERminator multifunctional INItiator (TERMINI).

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Contribution from the Roy & Diana Vagelos Laboratories, Department of Chemistry, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 19104-6323, USA.


A new synthetic concept named TERMINI that stands for irreversible TERminator Multifunctional INItiator is reported. Suitable combinations of TERMINI and living polymerizations provide access to strategies for the design and synthesis of unprecedented complex molecular and macromolecular architectures from a diversity of commercial monomers. TERMINI represents a masked multifunctional initiator designed to quantitatively and irreversibly interrupt a chain organic reaction or a living polymerization. After demasking, the TERMINI repeat unit enables the quantitative reinitiation, in the presence or absence of a catalyst, of the same or a different living polymerization or a chain organic reaction in more than one direction, thus becoming a branching point. The demonstration of this concept was made by using a combination of metal-catalyzed living radical polymerization (LRP) and (1,1-dimethylethyl)[[1-[3,5-bis(S-phenyl 4-N,N'-diethylthiocarbamate)phenyl]ethenyl]oxy]dimethylsilane as TERMINI, to elaborate a novel iterative divergent method for the synthesis of dendritic macromolecules based on methyl methacrylate (MMA).

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