Photocontrolled Synthesis of n-Type Conjugated Polymers

Eliot F. Woods, Alexandra J. Berl, Julia A. Kalow*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

14 Scopus citations


Current approaches to synthesize π-conjugated polymers (CPs) are dominated by thermally driven, transition-metal-mediated reactions. Herein we show that electron-deficient Grignard monomers readily polymerize under visible-light irradiation at room temperature in the absence of a catalyst. The product distribution can be tuned by the wavelength of irradiation based on the absorption of the polymer. Conversion studies are consistent with an uncontrolled chain-growth process; correspondingly, chain extension produces all-conjugated n-type block copolymers. Preliminary results demonstrate that the polymerization can be expanded to donor–acceptor alternating copolymers. We anticipate that this method can serve as a platform to access new architectures of n-type CPs without the need for transition-metal catalysis.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)6062-6067
Number of pages6
JournalAngewandte Chemie - International Edition
Issue number15
StatePublished - Apr 6 2020


  • Grignard compounds
  • conjugated polymers
  • photopolymerization
  • transition-metal-free chemistry

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Catalysis
  • Chemistry(all)


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