Location: JHE 326H
A theory for polymer molecular weight distribution (MWD) in atom transfer radical polymerization (ATRP) has been derived by using analogy to a series of continuous stirred tank reactors (CSTRs). This approach relates one activation cycle in ATRP to one reactor in CSTRs under the assumption of constant reactants concentrations. The derived MWD expression allows investigation of the factors affecting MWD, namely the level of “control” and “livingness.” The level of control is indicated by how many monomers are added to a chain per activation cycle. The degree of livingness is quantified by the fraction of terminated chains. Finally, the change in reactants concentrations is accounted for by discretization of polymerization time into shorter intervals and analogously relating it to multiple series of CSTRs.
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