Radical polymerization is a well-known tool for the design and industrial production of polymers. Leading exclusively to vinylic polymers, the technique has recently been exploited to encompass cyclic monomers. The incorporation of these (co)monomers during radical ring- opening copolymerization (rROP) introduces weak bonds into the polyvinyl backbone (Figure 1).
Development of such strategies would make it possible to obtain degradable and / or recyclable polymers using radical polymerization, a technique that is firmly established for the industrial production of polymers. In fact, polyethylene makes up the major part of polymers produced by radical polymerization, and finds a large number of applications in a wide variety of uses. The industrial polymerization conditions of ethylene (T > 200 ° C, P > 2000 bars) are nevertheless difficult to transpose to the copolymerization or the synthesis of more functional ethylene-based copolymers to produce even more versatile polyethylenes.
The PCM team (Polymers Catalysis and Materials) of CP2M is dedicated to research that allows radical (co)polymerization and the design of macromolecular architectures from ethylene by optimizing dedicated reactors operating at moderate temperature and pressure.
In addition, the P3R team (Precision Polymers by Radical Processes) of the IMRCP has recently developed and patented the synthesis of new cyclic monomers for rROP.
As part of the valorization of these discoveries, the current project aims to evaluate the relevance of the cyclic monomers mentioned above in the radical (co) polymerization of ethylene and to test the degradability of the copolymers produced by characterizing the products formed.
The candidate should therefore have a good knowledge of the mechanisms of radical polymerization and of the characterization of polymers in general. Skills in polymer processing and operating a pressurized reactor would also be advantageous.
The project will be conducted in CP2M laboratories
F. D’Agosto (CP2M, email@example.com, https://www.cp2m.org)
M. Destarac (IMRCP, firstname.lastname@example.org, http://imrcp.ups-tlse.fr)