Sequence-Controlled Polymers via Simultaneous Living Anionic Copolymerization of Competing Monomers

Elisabeth Rieger, Arda Alkan, Angelika Manhart, Manfred Wagner, Frederik R. Wurm*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

48 Citations (Scopus)


Natural macromolecules, i.e., sequence-controlled polymers, build the basis for life. In synthetic macromolecular chemistry, reliable tools for the formation of sequence-controlled macromolecules are rare. A robust and efficient chain-growth approach based on the simultaneous living anionic polymerization of sulfonamide-activated aziridines for sequence control of up to five competing monomers resulting in gradient copolymers is presented. The simultaneous azaanionic copolymerization is monitored by real-time (1) H NMR spectroscopy for each monomer at any time during the reaction. The monomer sequence can be adjusted by the monomer reactivity, depending on the electron-withdrawing effect by the sulfonamide (nosyl-, brosyl-, tosyl-, mesyl-, busyl) groups. This method offers unique opportunities for sequence control by competing copolymerization: a step forward to well-engineered synthetic polymers with defined microstructures.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)833-839
Number of pages7
JournalMacromolecular rapid communications
Issue number10
Publication statusPublished - 1 May 2016
Externally publishedYes


  • anionic polymerization
  • aziridines
  • copolymerization
  • ring-opening polymerization
  • sequence-controlled polymers


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