50th Anniversary Perspective: Polymers with Complex Architectures

George Polymeropoulos, Georgios Zapsas, Konstantinos Ntetsikas, Panagiotis Bilalis, Yves Gnanou, Nikos Hadjichristidis

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

186 Scopus citations

Abstract

The scope of this Perspective is to highlight innovative contributions in the synthesis of well-defined complex macromolecular architectures and to emphasize the importance of these materials to polymer physical chemistry, physics, theory, and applications. In addition, this Perspective tries to enlighten the past and show possible pathways for the future. Among the plethora of polymerization methods, we briefly report the impact of the truly living and controlled/living polymerization techniques focusing mainly on anionic polymerization, the mother of all living and controlled/living polymerizations. Through anionic polymerization well-defined model polymers with complex macromolecular architectures having the highest molecular weight, structural and compositional homogeneity can be achieved. The synthesized structures include star, comb/graft, cyclic, branched and hyberbranched, dendritic, and multiblock multicomponent polymers. In our opinion, in addition to the work needed on the synthesis, properties, and application of copolymers with more than three chemically different blocks and complex architecture, the polymer chemists in the future should follow closer the approaches Nature, the perfect chemist, uses to make functional complex macromolecular structures by noncovalent chemistry. Moreover, development of new analytical methods for the characterization/purification of polymers with complex macromolecular architectures is essential for the synthesis and properties study of this family of polymeric materials.
Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1253-1290
Number of pages38
JournalMacromolecules
Volume50
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Feb 9 2017

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