Synthesis of branched polystyrenes via cationic polymerisation

Stephanie Camerlynck, Peter Cormack, David C. Sherrington

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Citations (Scopus)


Branched polystyrenes have been prepared rapidly (within 15 min) and in good yields (40–99%) in dichloromethane solution at 0 °C via cationic copolymerisation of styrene (St) with divinylbenzene (DVB) using SnCl4 as the initiator. All reaction components were deliberately used as supplied to evaluate whether such a simple approach could provide a facile synthesis of branched polymers and this has proved to be the case. The only additional experimental precaution was to avoid condensation of atmospheric moisture during the reactions. No additional chain regulating species was required to avoid crosslinking providing the St/DVB mole feed ratio was ⩽100/5. The intrinsic chain transfer to monomer reaction seems to be sufficient to reduce the length of the primary polymer chains and hence inhibit crosslinking and gelation in the case of the above mole feed ratios. The branching architecture of the products has been evaluated by 1H NMR and MALS-SEC analyses.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3286-3293
Number of pages8
JournalEuropean Polymer Journal
Issue number12
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2006


  • branched
  • polystyrene
  • cationic
  • polymerisation

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