Li+ Catalyzed Radical Polymerization of Simple Alkenes
AbstraktThe history of the discovery of Li+ catalyzed radical polymerization of simple alkenes is described. Particular attention is paid to the radical polymerization of isobutene, which yields a previously unknown highly branched polymer. Under oxidizing conditions, radical and cationic polymerizations proceed concurrently and yield a separable mixture of branched and linear polyisobutene. The role of serendipity in scientific discovery is pointed out.