A series of alkyl-subsituted dienyltriphenylarsonium ylides were synthesized and used as monomers in borane-initiated polymerization to obtain practically C5-polymers (main-chain grows by five carbon atoms at a time). The impact of triethylborane (Et 3 B), tributylborane (Bu 3 B), tri- sec -butylborane ( s- Bu 3 B), and triphenylborane (Ph 3 B) initiators on C5 polymerization was studied. Based on NMR and SEC results, we have shown that all synthesized polymers have C5 units with a unique unsaturated backbone where two conjugated double bonds are separated by one methylene. The synthesized C5-polymers possess predictable molecular weights and narrow molecular weight distributions ( M n,NMR = 2.8 -11.9 kg mol -1 , Ð = 1.04-1.24). It has been found that increasing the steric hindrance of both the monomer and the initiator can facilitate the formation of more C5 repeating units, thus driving the polymerization to almost pure C5-polymer (up to 95.8%). The polymerization mechanism was studied by 11 B NMR and confirmed by DFT calculations. The synthesized C5-polymers are amorphous with tunable glass-transition temperatures by adjusting the substituents of monomers, ranging from +30.1 °C to -38.4 °C. Furthermore, they possess blue photoluminescence that changes to yellow illuminating the polymers for 5 days with UV radiation of 365 nm (IIE, isomerization induced emission).
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