Graft and block copolymers with polysiloxane and vinyl polymer segments


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Abstract

A convenient new process to make silicone/organic block and graft copolymers has been recently demonstrated. This dual copolymerization process combines conventional condensation polymerization of the siloxane segments with free radical polymerization of the organic vinyl polymer segments. The copolymerization process is relatively simple and economical compared with other copolymerization techniques as it uses commonly available starting materials and available process equipment. Silicone segments containing alkene side chains or end-groups are prepared in the usual way by polycondensation using an acid or base catalyst. The double bonds of the alkene groups are oxidized to carbonyls which are then used to initiate vinyl monomer polymerization and link the siloxane with the vinyl segments. This initiation step is based on a redox system of copper(II) salts which generates free radicals on the alpha carbons next to the carbonyl groups. This copolymerization process is relatively fast and proceeds at high yields.

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