New Control Over Silicone Synthesis using SiH Chemistry: The Piers-Rubinsztajn Reaction
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There is a strong imperative to synthesize polymers with highly controlled structures and narrow property ranges. Silicone polymers do not lend themselves to this paradigm because acids or bases lead to siloxane equilibration and loss of structure. By contrast, elegant levels of control are possible when using the Piers-Rubinsztajn reaction and analogues, in which the hydrophobic, strong Lewis acid B(C6 F5 )3 activates SiH groups, permitting the synthesis of precise siloxanes under mild conditions in high yield; siloxane decomposition processes are slow under these conditions. A broad range of oxygen nucleophiles including alkoxysilanes, silanols, phenols, and aryl alkyl ethers participate in the reaction to create elastomers, foams and green composites, for example, derived from lignin. In addition, the process permits the synthesis of monofunctional dendrons that can be assembled into larger entities including highly branched silicones and dendrimers either using the Piers-Rubinsztajn process alone, or in combination with hydrosilylation or other orthogonal reactions.
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