Controlled Synthesis of Polymer Brushes by "Living" Free Radical Polymerization Techniques

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The preparation of a wide variety of unique polymer brush structures can be accomplished by "living" free radical polymerization of vinyl monomers from surface-tethered alkoxyamines or from tethered α-halo esters in the presence of (PPh3)2NiBr2. The use of a "living" free radical process permits the molecular weight and polydispersity of the covalently attached polymer chains to be accurately controlled while also allowing the formation of block copolymers by the sequential growth of monomers from the surface. These block and random copolymer brushes have been used to control surface properties.