Post-polymerization modification is a powerful strategy to endow polymers with functional groups that cannot be incorporated via direct polymerization. In this paper, Klok and co-workers explored the reversible addition–fragmentation chain transfer polymerization (RAFT) of pentafluorophenyl methacrylate (PFMA) to prepare active ester containing polymer brushes and investigated the feasibility and versatility of these reactive thin polymer films towards post-polymerization modification with a variety of amines. Except for the secondary amine diisopropylamine, the sterically demanding aminomethylanthracene and aniline, post-polymerization modification with all other investigated amines proceeded with near to quantitative conversion within 2–20 hours. The high reactivity towards a broad range of amines, combined with a good hydrolytic stability and solubility/swellability in a range of organic solvents makes the PPFMA brushes a very attractive platform for the rapid synthesis of diverse libraries of functional polymer brushes via post-polymerization modification.
Synthesis and post-polymerization modification of poly(pentafluorophenyl methacrylate) brushes by Kemal Arda Günay, Nicolas Schüwer and Harm-Anton Klok Polym. Chem. 2012, 3, 2186-2192.