SI-PET-RAFT: Surface-Initiated Photoinduced Electron Transfer-Reversible Addition–Fragmentation Chain Transfer Polymerization

In this communication, surface-initiated photoinduced electron transfer-reversible addition–fragmentation chain transfer polymerization (SI-PET-RAFT) is introduced. SI-PET-RAFT affords functionalization of surfaces with spatiotemporal control and provides oxygen tolerance under ambient conditions. All hallmarks of controlled radical polymerization (CRP) are met, affording well-defined polymerization kinetics, and chain end retention to allow subsequent extension of active chain ends to form block copolymers. The modularity and versatility of SI-PET-RAFT is highlighted through significant flexibility with respect to the choice of monomer, light source and wavelength, and photoredox catalyst. The ability to obtain complex patterns in the presence of air is a significant contribution to help pave the way for CRP-based surface functionalization into commercial application.