Amphiphilic diblock star polymer catalysts via atom transfer radical polymerization

William R. Dichtel, Kyung Youl Baek, Jean M J Fréchet, Ivo B. Rietveld, Sergei A. Vinogradov

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

51 Scopus citations


Diblock star polymers were synthesized via atom transfer radical polymerization from a palladium porphyrin macroinitiator. The arms of the star polymers had an amphiphilic design, with the central Pd-porphyrin surrounded by a relatively hydrophobic block of poly(butyl acrylate) and terminated by a hydrophilic block of poly(oligoethyleneglycol monomethylether monomethacrylate). The size of both the interior and exterior blocks of the polymer arms were tuned over a wide range of molecular weights with the exterior block used to solubilize the stars in polar media. The star polymers showed enhanced reactivity in the oxidation of 2-furaldehyde relative to a small molecule porphyrin, suggesting that the polymer backbone aids with catalytic turnover. Oxygen diffusion studies indicate that the polymer backbone shields the porphyrin excited state from oxygen quenching. Shielding is independent of molecular weight and polymer composition, but it is not pronounced enough to retard the rate of singlet oxygen generation under preparative photooxidation conditions.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)4939-4951
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of Polymer Science, Part A: Polymer Chemistry
Issue number17
StatePublished - Sep 1 2006


  • ATRP
  • Catalysis
  • Microenvironments
  • Site isolation
  • Star polymers

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Polymers and Plastics
  • Organic Chemistry
  • Materials Chemistry


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