Transition metal-mediated atom transfer radical polymerization (ATRP) is well
known as one of successful reversible deactivation radical polymerizations for synthesizing
various designable structures. However, the resultant polymers are usually contaminated
or colored by large amounts of metal catalyst, which does not facilitate its industrialization.
How to efficiently separate and recycle the metal catalyst has triggered lots of
interest in green chemistry and ATRP. In this review, we mainly focus on a recyclable
liquid/liquid thermo-regulated phase separable catalysis (TPSC) strategy applied in
ATRP, which provides a facile and efficient method combining homogeneous reaction
with heterogeneous separation just by simply changing temperature. TPSC-based ATRP
systems include but not limit to the following systems: fluorous biphasic system, lower
alcohol/alkane biphasic system, poly(ethylene glycol) (PEG) biphasic system and thermo-regulated ionic liquids
biphasic system and so on.
Keywords: Transition metal catalyst, thermo-regulated phase separable catalysis (TPSC), catalyst separation, catalyst recycling, Atom Transfer
Radical Polymerization (ATRP).
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