Polymers are essential to our lives, providing the structure and function that underpins advances in materials science, medicine, energy and more.
Polymeric materials have expanded well beyond commodity plastics to access specialty applications enabled by precise control of their architectures, molecular weights and dispersity, including methodologies to control polymer microstructure, macrostructure and co-monomer composition.
The most important feature of olefin metathesis is preservation of the double bond post metathesis, which can be further modified using a range of techniques that is not offered in competing organic transformations.
Olefin metathesis provides an important alternate functionalisation strategy, and is of growing importance to polymer science.
From there he crossed the Atlantic Ocean again as an Assistant, and then Associate Professor, at the University of Prince Edward Island.
A growing research team prompted a move to the University of Edinburgh as a Chancellor's Fellow and Reader, where he now leads a diverse research group developing new catalysts and functional polymers using ring-opening and controlled radical polymerisations.
The importance of these reactions in organic synthesis and polymer chemistry is facilitated by the development of exceptional catalysts, largely led by the groups of Schrock, Grubbs and Hoveyda.
Schrock has developed highly active Mo-based metathesis catalysts (Fig.
Similarly, ring-closing metathesis offers the ability to tune the polymer macrostructure and microstructure to similar effect.
In this review, we explore the importance of understanding selectivity in olefin cross metathesis in designing functional polymers, the manipulation of this reactivity to prepare (multi)functional polymers, and show how polymer systems can be constructed to favour ring closing and change backbone structure and properties.