A universal approach to converting polymers back into monomers
Controlled radical polymerisation has revolutionised the field of polymer chemistry, enabling the synthesis of a wide range of materials with controlled molecular weight, polymer dispersity and structure. On the other hand, controlled depolymerisation – the recovery of the starting monomer from polymers – has been poorly explored. The overall aim of the EU-funded DEPO project is to develop a universal, quantitative and controlled method of depolymerisation that enables polymers synthesised by controlled radical polymerisation to be converted back into monomers. Although this method will initially target polymers synthesised by atom transfer radical polymerisation systems, it will subsequently be applied to polymers synthesised by reversible addition-fragmentation chain transfer and nitroxide-mediated radical polymerisation.
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