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Title: Polymer microspheres : synthesis, characterisation and post-functionalisation by olefin metathesis
Author: Altuna Ruiz de Eguino, Amaia
ISNI:       0000 0004 5992 9666
Awarding Body: University of Glasgow
Current Institution: University of Glasgow
Date of Award: 2016
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Porous polymer particles are used in an extraordinarily wide range of advanced and everyday applications, from combinatorial chemistry, solid-phase organic synthesis and polymer-supported reagents, to environmental analyses and the purification of drinking water. The installation and exploitation of functional chemical handles on the particles is often a prerequisite for their successful exploitation, irrespective of the application and the porous nature of the particles. New methodology for the chemical modification of macroreticular polymers is the primary focus of the work presented in this thesis. Porous polymer microspheres decorated with a diverse range of functional groups were synthesised by the post-polymerisation chemical modification of beaded polymers via olefin cross metathesis. The polymer microspheres were prepared by the precipitation polymerisation of divinylbenzene in porogenic (pore-forming) solvents; the olefin cross-metathesis (CM) functionalisation reactions exploited the pendent (polymer-bound) vinyl groups that were not consumed by polymerisation. Olefin CM reactions involving the pendent vinyl groups were performed in dichloromethane using second-generation Grubbs catalyst (Grubbs II), and a wide range of coupling partners used. The results obtained indicate that high quality, porous polymer microspheres synthesised by precipitation polymerisation in near-θ solvents can be functionalised by olefin CM under very mild conditions to install a diverse range of chemical functionalities into a common polydivinylbenzene precursor. Gel-type polymer microspheres were prepared by the precipitation copolymerisation reaction of divinylbenzene and allyl methacrylate in neat acetonitrile. The unreacted pendent vinyl groups that were not consumed by polymerisation were subjected to internal and external olefin metathesis-based hypercrosslinking reactions. Internal hypercrosslinking was carried out by using ring-closing metathesis (RCM) reactions in toluene using Grubbs II catalyst. Under these conditions, hypercrosslinked (HXL) polymers with specific surface areas around 500 m2g-1 were synthesised. External hypercrosslinking was attempted by using CM/RCM in the presence of a multivinyl coupling partner in toluene using second-generation Hoveyda-Grubbs catalyst. The results obtained indicate that no HXL polymers were obtained. However, during the development of this methodology, a new type of polymerisation was discovered with tetraallylorthosilicate as monomer.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: QD Chemistry