Post-polymerisation modification of poly(glycidyl methacrylate) (PGMA) through the nucleophilic ring opening reactions of the pendent epoxide groups allows for the installation of a variety of functionalities onto the reactive scaffold. The primary modification processes involve amine-epoxy, thiol-epoxy, azide-epoxy, acid-epoxy, and hydrolysis reactions. In all cases, sequential post-synthesis modification reactions can also be carried out if multiply-functionalised polymers are required. This, in particular, includes reactions of the hydroxyl group(s) that come into being through the initial oxirane ring-opening reaction. The overall flexibility of these functionalisations, coupled with the commercial availability of glycidyl methacrylate monomer, its controlled polymerisation behaviour through free radical polymerisation methods and high shelf life of the resulting polymers makes PGMA one of the most adaptable reactive scaffolds in polymer chemistry. In this review article, our aim is to discuss the fundamental aspects of the epoxy ring-opening reactions and highlight the utilitarian nature of PGMA by addressing the range of chemistry that has been used to transform this simple structure into a plethora of customised functional polymers.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Chemical Engineering(all)