Linear homopolymers and randomly cross-linked homopolymer networks of 2-(dimethylamino)ethyl methacrylate of various molecular weights (MWs) were synthesized by group transfer polymerization in the bulk. 1-methoxy-1-(trimethylsiloxy)-2-methyl propene was used as the initiator, while tetrabutylammonium bibenzoate served as the catalyst. Ethylene glycol dimethacrylate was the cross-linker used for the network synthesis at an 8-fold molar excess with respect to the initiator. Gel permeation chromatography in tetrahydrofuran was used to characterize the linear homopolymers in terms of their MW and molecular weight distribution (MWD). Although the experimental MWs did not match the theoretical MWs, they were reasonably close to them. The MWDs were rather broad with polydispersity indices ranging between 1.5 and 1.9. The monomer conversion was relatively high, ranging from 97% to 74% for theoretical degrees of polymerization (DPs) from 5 to 500. No polymerization was observed for an attempted DP of 1000. Networks with molar ratios of monomer to initiator (nominal DPs) from 5 to 200 were prepared, while an attempted synthesis with a nominal DP of 500 did not yield a network. The networks were characterized in terms of their degree of swelling in water and the effects of DP, pH, salt concentration and temperature were investigated.
- 2-(Dimethylamino)ethyl methacrylate
- Bulk polymerization
- Degree of swelling
- Ethylene glycol dimethacrylate
- Group transfer polymerization
- Water-soluble polymers
- Weak polyelectrolytes