Optimization of solubility of corannulene polymers via ring opening metathesis polymerization
Date of Issue2018
School of Physical and Mathematical Sciences
Corannulene group bearing copolymers have great potential in electrochemical storage applications. However, previous study carried out ring-opening metathesis polymerization (ROMP) on corannulene monomer using ruthenium-based Grubbs’ second-generation catalyst (G2) resulted in an insoluble corannulene homopolymer formation. Hence, this study aims to synthesize corannulene-encoded copolymer of high solubility in organic solvent via ROMP. Random and block polymerization was conducted using norbornene and undecane-substituted norbornene monomers. The PDI of the copolymer produced was characterized using GPC whereas its solubility was visually assessed. Based on the findings, it can be deduced that corannulene- undecane-substituted norbornene copolymer has the highest solubility at 1:9 via G3-catalyzed block polymerization, whereby the polymerization process only proceeds when the corannulene monomer is blocked first. Generally, block polymerization product has better solubility compared to random polymerization. All the copolymers produced possess satisfactory PDI value of close to 1.0. Recommendation such as replacing the undecane side chain on undecane-substituted norbornene monomers with PEG to retain the water-soluble property of the copolymer is encouraged for future research.
Final Year Project (FYP)