Present state and prospect in the investigations on the anionic polymerization of ethylene oxide
A review of the fundamental elements of the mechanism of the anionic polymerization of ethylene oxide has been presented with the consideration of the problems of monomer coordination and autosolvation of active centres with the growing macromolecules. The synthetic possibilities of the polymerization taking place without chain termination and transfer have been illustrated by the examples of synthesis of polyoxyethylene glycols with an assumed chain length as well as synthesis of derivatives with functional groups, including macromonomers. Some difficulties encountered during the preparative application of the anionic polymerization of ethylene oxide have been discussed. The quantitative characteristics of the ability to the macromolecular cooperative solvation of cations and ion pairs by poly(ethylene oxide) have been presented, their role in the transportation of cations in ionic conductors and the phenomena of electrostatic interactions discussed. The prospects of future investigations in this field have been evaluated.
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