Tkachov, R. ; Senkovsky, V. ; Komber, H. ; Sommer, J.-U. ; Kiriy, A.
Random catalyst walking along polymerized poly(3-hexylthiophene) chains in kumada catalyst-transfer polycondensation

A “walking” process of Ni catalysts during Kumada catalyst-transfer polycondensation along polymerizing poly(3-hexylthiophene), P3HT, chains was investigated. To simplify polymer end group identifications, a compound Br-C6H4-Ni(dppe)-Br was prepared and used as an externally addable initiator. Normally, aryl moieties present in initiators incorporate into the structure of the resulting P3HT as the starting groups. We demonstrate that due to the presence of the C-Br group located in the para-position to the Ni substituent of the initiator, two different polymeric products are formed. One of them is the “normal” product, that is, P3HT with a para-bromophenyl end group, whereas another one has the phenyl ring inside the P3HT chain. The content of the product with the internal phenyl ring increases with the increase of the polymerization degree. Control experiments demonstrated that no intermolecular catalyst transfer takes place in the conditions used. Such results suggest that catalytic Ni(0) species are able to walk along the polymerizing chain containing many tens of thienyl rings up to the opposite end and can initiate polymerization there. Numerical analysis of a random hopping model was undertaken, which revealed that a combination of a random catalyst walking along the chain and a “sticking effect” at the end groups is operative in Kumada catalyst-transfer polycondensation.

Journal of the American Chemical Society 132



Erschienen am
June 2010