Organocatalyzed atom transfer radical polymerization driven by visible light

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Science  31 Mar 2016:
DOI: 10.1126/science.aaf3935

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Atom transfer radical polymerization (ATRP) has become one of the most implemented methods for polymer synthesis due to impressive control over polymer composition and associated properties. However, contamination of the polymer by the metal catalyst remains a major limitation. Organic ATRP photoredox catalysts have been sought to address this difficult challenge, but have not achieved the precision performance of metal catalysts. Here, we introduce diaryl dihydrophenazines, identified through computationally directed discovery, as a class of strongly reducing photoredox catalysts. These catalysts achieve high initiator efficiencies through activation by visible light to synthesize polymers with tunable molecular weights and low dispersities.

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