The successful synthesis of highly syndiotactic polar vinyl polymers bearing the reactive pendant vinyl group on each repeat unit, which is enabled by perfectly chemoselective and highly syndiospecific coordination polymerization of divinyl polar monomers developed through this work, has allowed the construction of robust crosslinked supramolecular stereocomplexes and C60 inclusion complexes. The metal-mediated coordination polymerization of three representative polar divinyl monomers, including vinyl methacrylate (VMA), allyl methacrylate (AMA), and N,N-diallyl acrylamide (DAA) by Cs-ligated zirconocenium ester enolate catalysts under ambient conditions exhibits complete chemoselectivity and high stereoselectivity, thus producing the corresponding vinyl-functionalized polymers with high (92% rr) to quantitative (>99% rr) syndiotacticity. A combined experimental (synthetic, kinetic, and mechanistic) and theoretical (DFT) investigation has yielded a unimetallic, enantiomorphic-site controlled propagation mechanism. Post-functionalization of the obtained syndiotactic vinyl-functionalized polymers via the thiol-ene click and photocuring reactions readily produced the corresponding thiolated polymers and flexible crosslinked thin film materials, respectively. Complexation of such syndiotactic vinyl-functionalized polymers with isotactic poly(methyl methacrylate) and fullerene C60 generates supramolecular crystalline helical stereocomplexes and inclusion complexes, respectively. Crosslinking of such complexes afforded robust crosslinked stereocomplexes that are solvent resistant and also exhibit considerably enhanced thermal and mechanical properties as compared to the uncrosslinked stereocompexes.
Bibliographical noteKAUST Repository Item: Exported on 2020-10-01
Acknowledgements: This work was supported by the US National Science Foundation (NSF-
1300267) for the study carried out at Colorado State University. L. Cavallo thanks the HPC team of Enea
(www.enea.it) for using the ENEA-GRID and the HPC facilities CRESCO (www.cresco.enea.it) in
Portici, Italy. We thank Boulder Scientific Co. for the research gifts of B(C6F5)3 and [Ph3C][B(C6F5)4].