The "cation pool" of an N-acyliminium ion was found to serve as an effective initiator of cationic polymerization of vinyl ethers in a microsystem consisting of two micromixers and a microtube reactor. The polymerization led to very narrow molecular weight distribution (Mw/Mn = 1.14). The molecular weight (Mn) increased linearly with an increase in the amount of the monomer. The carbocationic polymer end was effectively trapped by allyltrimethylsilane. The present observations illustrate the potential of microsystems, in conjunction with the cation pool, to effect polymerization in a highly controlled manner without the deceleration inherent in the dynamic equilibrium between active and dormant species.
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