Free Radical Polymerization
Free radical polymerization is a commonly used method to make numerous polymers from the
carbon double bond containing monomers. This method is usually cost efficient, convenient, and
less restrictively conditioned. Using this method, we have produced many polymer products for our
clients, e.g., fluorescent dye-tagged polystyrene, poly(benzyl methacrylate-co-methacrylic acid),
poly(acrylonitrile-co-mPEG acrylate), poly(acrylic acid-co-hydroxyethyl methacrylate),
n-isopropylacrylamide/AMPS based hydrogels, etc.
Some factors such as temperature, radical initiator amount, solvent, chain transfer agent, etc, play
roles in the molecular weight of the resulting polymer. But the molecular weight of the polymer can
hardly be adjusted to the low level with a free radical polymerization process, and the molecular
weight distribution is relatively broad as well. To address these issues, a living polymerization
approach may hence be adopted. For instance, a polyacrylonitrile product with low molecular weight
had been synthesized via ATRP polymerization in our lab for a client's special need.
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