An investigation into the synthesis and characterisation of three materials based on poly (vinyl acetate)
An investigation into the synthesis of three types of material based on poly (vinyl acetate) was performed using three novel polymerisation techniques. The three techniques used were: i) the use of chain transfer to solvent; ii) the use of enzymes to catalyse the synthesis of block copolymers of vinyl acetate and c- caprolactone; iii) the synthesis of hyperbranched polymers of vinyl acetate and n- vinyl pyrrolidinone, monomers which both propagate through an unstabilised radical. The first technique has been widely used in order to synthesise polymers and oligomers with solvent derived endgroups. In this work polymers have been synthesised using isopropanol, 2-isopropoxy ethanol and 3-methyl-2-butanone as solvents. All of these have been shown to be active as chain transfer agents in previous studies. The second technique builds on previous work, performed in the field of enzymatic control of polymerisation reactions. Enzymes can be used to both synthesise monomers and catalyse the polymerisation of monomers. Hydroxy terminated poly (vinyl acetate) was used to control the polymerisation of 6- caprolactone, leading to the formation of block copolymers. The third technique involves the synthesis of hyperbranched poly (vinyl acetate) and poly (n-vinyl pyrrolidinone). This was achieved through the use of a polymerisable branching agent, also with the ability to act as a chain transfer agent. Through the use of this as a comonomer a hyperbranched polymer can be synthesised without the formation of a crosslinked gel.