Formation of Nanoparticles by Intramolecular Cross-Linking:  Following the Reaction Progress of Single Polymer Chains by Atomic Force Microscopy

Aliphatic polycarbonates with pendant vinyl groups were transformed into nanoparticles through intramolecular olefin cross-metathesis under dilute conditions. Reaction progress was monitored by AFM, revealing a range of structures from extended linear molecules at 0% cross-linking to isolated particles at 76% cross-linking.