Precursor polymers to poly(p-phenylene vinylene) and its heteroaromatic derivatives. Polymerization mechanism

Bong Rae Cho

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

20 Citations (Scopus)


Mechanism of polymerization reactions forming the precursor polymers of poly(p-phenylenevinylene) (PPV) and its heteroaromatic derivatives are summarized. Reactions of α,α′-bis(tetrahydrothiophenio)-p-xylene dichloride with OH- in H2O proceed via 1,6-elimination-free radical polymerization mechanism. The rate of elimination reaction increased and that of subsequent polymerization decreased as the aromatic moiety was changed from phenyl to thienyl to furyl. Also, the elimination reaction mechanism changed from (E1cb)R to (E1cb)irr for the same variation of the aromatic moiety, whereas the polymerization mechanism remained the same. The polymerization mechanism for the Gilch route was proposed to be ionic. However, it might actually proceed by a free radical mechanism. The mechanism of the polymerization pathway of the sulfo(i)nyl route changed from a free radical to a competing ionic and free radical by the change in the solvent from protic to aprotic. The thermal decomposition of the bis-sulfonium salts proceeds by the SN2 displacement of the tetrahydrothiophene by chloride followed by the thermal elimination of HCl. On the other hand, the elimination of the sulfi(o)nyl group is considered to proceed via a syn-elimination.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)307-355
Number of pages49
JournalProgress in Polymer Science (Oxford)
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2002 Mar


  • Elimination
  • Free radical mechanism
  • Gilch route
  • Mechanism
  • Poly(2,5-furanovinylene)
  • Poly(2,5-thienylene vinylene)
  • Poly(p-phenylenevinylene)
  • Precursor route
  • Sulfi(o)nyl route
  • Thermal elimination

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ceramics and Composites
  • Surfaces and Interfaces
  • Polymers and Plastics
  • Organic Chemistry
  • Materials Chemistry


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