Electroediting of Soft Polymer Backbones

J Am Chem Soc. 2022 May 25;144(20):8885-8891. doi: 10.1021/jacs.2c02098. Epub 2022 May 16.


Synthetic methods that edit soft polymer backbones are critical technologies for tailoring the structures and properties of macromolecules. Developing strategies that leverage underexplored reaction manifolds are vital for accessing new chemical (and functional) space in soft materials. Here, we report a mild electrochemical approach that enables both degradation and functionalization of synthetic polymers. We found that bulk electrolysis (under either homogeneous or heterogeneous conditions) promoted facile, chemoselective chain scission in a variety of olefin-containing materials. Polymer degradation could also be coupled with functionalization (e.g., azidation) to afford new species that could serve as macromonomers.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Alkenes* / chemistry
  • Polymers* / chemistry


  • Alkenes
  • Polymers