Toward the kinetics of polymerization at the single polymer chain

Wednesday, October 30, 2019 - 1:00pm to 2:00pm

Shawn Yu, graduate student

Kevin Welsher, advisor

An averaged kinetics of polymerization of a bulk solution can be measured by traditional techniques like NMR, GPC, and viscosimetry. However, the kinetics of each polymer chain is inaccessible through these methods and can vary from the bulk kinetics. This work focuses on single polymer growth and tries to monitor polymerization in real time in the solution phase. Three-dimensional dynamic localization tracking (3D-DyPloT) was used to monitor the ring-opening metathesis polymerization (ROMP) of norbornene catalyzed by Grubbs catalyst 2nd generation in heptane. Results suggested that the observed growth was a combination of polymerization and aggregation. Future work will focus on disentangling the effects of polymerization versus aggregation to measure the kinetic heterogeneity in well-solvated single growing polymers.

Avery, Meg