Chengfei Liu, Jinyan Si, Muqing Cao, Peng Zhao, Yiheng Dai, Huaping Xu*
Adv. Sci.; 2023, 2304518.
Visualizing polymer chain growth is always a hot topic for tailoring structure-function properties in polymer chemistry. However, current characterization methods are limited in their ability to differentiate the degree of polymerization in real-time without isolating the samples from the reaction vessel, let alone to detect insoluble polymers. Herein, a reliable relationship is established between polymer chain growth and fluorescence properties through polymerization induced emission. (TPE-C2)2-Te is used to realize in situ oxidative polymerization, leading to the aggregation of fluorophores. The relationship between polymerization degree of growing polytelluoxane (PTeO) and fluorescence intensity is constructed, enabling real-time monitoring of the polymerization reaction. More importantly, this novel method can be further applied to the observation of the polymerization process for growing insoluble polymer via surface polymerization. Therefore, the development of visualization technology will open a new avenue for visualizing polymer chain growth in real-time, regardless of polymer solubility.