Living anionic polymerization will soon celebrate 70 years of existence. This living polymerization is considered the mother of all living and controlled/living polymerizations since it paved the way for their discovery. It provides methodologies for synthesizing polymers with absolute control of the essential parameters that affect polymer properties, including molecular weight, molecular weight distribution, composition and microstructure, chain-end/in-chain functionality, and architecture. This precise control of living anionic polymerization generated tremendous fundamental and industrial research activities, developing numerous important commodity and specialty polymers. In this Perspective, we present the high importance of living anionic polymerization of vinyl monomers by providing some examples of its significant achievements, presenting its current status, giving several insights into where it is going (Quo Vadis) and what the future holds for this powerful synthetic method. Furthermore, we attempt to explore its advantages and disadvantages compared to controlled/living radical polymerizations, the main competitors of living carbanionic polymerization.
Bibliographical noteKAUST Repository Item: Exported on 2022-12-26
Acknowledgements: This work was supported by King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST). We are thankful to Professors Swaminathan Sivaram and Dimitris Vlassopoulos for fruitful discussions, and to Professors Axel H.E. Müller and Holger Frey for reading the manuscript and making valuable comments.