L-Proline Functionalized Polymers Prepared by RAFT Polymerization and Their Assemblies as Supported Organocatalysts

Annhelen Lu, Thomas P. Smart, Thomas H. Epps, Deborah A. Longbottom, Rachel K. O'Reilly

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

90 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

We have prepared a range of well-defined copolymers of styrene and l-proline functionalized styrene (5–11 kDa) using reversible addition–fragmentation chain transfer (RAFT) polymerization techniques and explored their use in supported catalysis. Upon deprotection of the l-proline functionalities, the solution self-assembly of these copolymers was investigated in mixed solvent systems. The resulting assemblies were characterized by dynamic light scattering, transmission electron microscopy (on graphene oxide substrates, along with cryo-TEM and tomography), and scanning electron microscopy. The application of these functional assemblies as supported catalysts for the aldol condensation reaction was explored using cyclohexanone and 4-nitrobenzaldehyde. The rate and selectivity of solution catalysis in our self-assembled system were comparable to those of l-proline, and a significant advantage of our system was that the polymer support could be utilized at lower catalyst loadings with comparable activity and also could be recycled a number of times while maintaining activity and selectivity.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)7233-7241
JournalMacromolecules
Volume44
Issue number18
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 6 Sep 2011

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