Direct access to poly(glycidyl azide) and its copolymers through anionic (co-)polymerization of glycidyl azide

Senthil K. Boopathi, Nikos Hadjichristidis, Yves Gnanou*, Xiaoshuang Feng

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

62 Scopus citations


Glycidyl azide polymer or poly(glycidyl azide) which is considered as an excellent energetic binder or plasticizer in advanced solid propellants is generally obtained by post-modification or azidation of poly(epichlorohydrin). Here we report that glycidyl azide can be directly homopolymerized through anionic ring-opening polymerization to access poly(glycidyl azide) using onium salts as initiator and triethyl borane as activator. Molar masses of poly(glycidyl azide) up to 11.0 Kg/mol are achieved in a controlled manner with a narrow polydispersity index (PDI ≤ 1.2). Similarly, alternating poly(glycidyl azide carbonate) are also prepared through alternating copolymerization of glycidyl azide with carbon dioxide. Lastly, the copolymerization of glycidyl azide with other epoxide monomers is carried out; the azido functions carried by glycidyl azide which are successfully incorporated into the backbones of polyethers and polycarbonates based on cyclohexene oxide and propylene oxide subsequently served to introduce other functions by click chemistry.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number293
JournalNature Communications
Issue number1
StatePublished - Dec 1 2019

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Chemistry
  • General Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology
  • General Physics and Astronomy


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