Most of the polymers are produced with the use of organometallic derivatives. However, the toxicity of some metals associated with the need for increasing polymeric material performance and the limited development of metal-free routes lead us to develop new metal-based approaches for the synthesis of various polymers.
We are particularly interested by monomers able to polymerize with an anionic route since it favors the preparation of high interest polymers for major industrial applications such as polyether-based systems for soft or amphiphilic materials and polyamides for lightweight composites in future green cars.
We have shown that the formation of “ate” complexes could modulate the basicity of active centers and the activation of monomers, allowing the “retarded anionic polymerization” of styrene and dienes to proceed in bulk and at high temperature. The rapid controlled/living polymerization of substituted epoxides was also achieved, affording polyethers and copolymers with various properties. This concept is also being used in lactams polymerization for the preparation of high performance polyamide materials.
Please see the publication pages for a detailed description of our most recent research projects.