Thursday, September 16, 2010

Shaving Polymers

I got a chuckle of out this graphic abstract:
A bit of background: polyphenylene is difficult to synthesize directly. The growing polymer chain quickly become insoluble in anything so alternate routes are needed. [*] The approach in this report is to apparently create the chains by polymerizing a substituted benzene (?) creating a chain which is soluble in the polymerization media. After polymerization is completed, the side arms are removed, in this case by "shaving". I haven't read the article (and probably won't as this is not a field that I am currently interested in) but I somehow doubt that any "shaving", as in something sliding along the chain from one end to another and removing the sidearms individually is occurring.

Still, I like the graphic.

[*] While direct polymerization is preferred, two-step or even three-step synthesis are done on a commercial basis. A great example is polyvinyl alcohol. Vinyl alcohol does not exist (it undergoes a keto-enol rearrangement to form acetaldehyde) so instead it is prepared by the hydrolysis of polyvinyl acetate. The polyvinyl alcohol can be used in this form, or it can further react with an aldehyde (most commonly butyraldehyde) to form polyvinyl butyral which is the film holding together layers of safety glass.


Eric F. Brown said...

Is tough
To make
So why not
Just depilate
Burma Shave

John said...

Wonderful. Simply wonderful.