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Chimia (Aarau). 2012;66(3):99-103. doi: 10.2533/chimia.2012.99.

Developing new methods for the mono-end functionalization of living ring opening metathesis polymers.

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Universität Freiburg Departement für Chemie, Chemin du Musée, Freiburg, Switzerland.


In this article we present a review of our recent results in one area of research we are involved in. All research efforts in our group focus on functional polymers and new ways of gaining higher levels of control with regard to the placement of functional groups within these polymers. Here, the living ring opening metathesis polymerization (ROMP) will be reviewed for which end-functionalization methods had been rare until very recently. Polymers carrying particular functional groups only at the chain-ends are, however, very interesting for a variety of industrial and academic applications. Polymeric surfactants and polymer-protein conjugates are two examples for the former and polymer-β-sheet-peptide conjugates one example for the latter. The functionalization of macroscopic or nanoscopic surfaces often relies on mono-end functional polymers. Complex macromolecular architectures are often constructed from macromolecules carrying exactly one functional group at their chain- end. The ring opening metathesis polymerization is particularly interesting in this context as it is one of the most functional group tolerant polymerization methods known. Additionally, high molecular weight polymers are readily accessible with this technique, a feature that living radical polymerizations often struggle to achieve. Finding new ways of functionalizing the polymer chain-end of ROMP polymers has therefore been a task long overdue. Here, we present our contribution to this area of research.

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