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Macromolecular Division (IV)


Number: 410/26/95
> reinitiated as project 2002-016-1-400

Title: Kinetics and Thermodynamics of Polymerization

Coordinator(s): E. Maréchal and S. Penczek

Remarks: Collaboration with Commission IV.2


Polymerization processes are responsible for polymer formation. Their quantitative description requires that their kinetics and thermodynamics are understood. Documents already published (e.g. the Purple Book) do not cover even the most important basic terms. The feasibility study has shown that there are a few hundred terms that could be considered and, that approximately 75 are indispensable. Some have been defined in the Gold Book. However, such definitions describe terms traditionally used for chain reactions of low molecular weight compounds (e.g. chlorination of methane). They cannot directly be used for polymerization processes. During the last decades a number of new classes of chain polymerizations, polycondensations, and polyadditions have appeared. It is important to be able to describe the new, emerging polymerizations and to define unambiguously terms already in use in books and papers.

The first draft, based on 95 terms agreed by the Commission in 1995, was discussed further by the Commission in 1996, in Seoul. Second and third drafts were prepared by the Working Party and the latter was discussed in Geneva. The document was then distributed to 32 Outside Experts and 9 responded. The major discussion in Berlin involved the terms "living polymerisation" and "controlled polymerisation". The discussion resulted from the necessity to define newly emerging processes, mostly with reversible transfers and the reversible deactivation of species in radical and cationic polymerisations. A new version will be sent again to members of the Working Party and then to members of the Commission. The resulting draft will be published provisionally in leading polymer journals and sent to Outside Experts for comment during 2000.

Last update: 17 November 1999


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