Initiation and propagation reaction mechanisms of the anionic polymerization of hexafluoro‐1,3‐butadiene (HEBD) were investigated. The initiation reaction with caesium tert‐butoxide was found to be completed within 5 min although the reactions were carried out at a much lower temperature than that of the polymerization reaction. The initiation reaction was, therefore, inferred to take place in an anionic fashion by adding the tert‐butoxide anion to HFBD. In order to clarify the propagation reaction mechanism of HFBD which yielded a polymer with a polyvinylene structure, the polymerization reactivity of HFBD and hexafluoro‐2‐butyne (HFBY), the isomerization of HFBD to HFBY, and the structural difference between poly(HFBD) and poly(HFBY) were discussed. In spite of the low yield of HFBY by the isomerization reaction under polymerization conditions, higher yields of poly(HFBD) were obtained. Judging from the X‐ray analysis which showed that poly(HFBD) was highly crystalline and poly(HFBY) was amorphous, poly(HFBD) might not be produced by polymerization of HFBY. An addition reaction of the propagating anion to the carbon‐2 of the HFBD monomer followed by isomerization at the propagating living end to yield poly[1,2‐bis(trifluoromethyl)vinylene] is proposed.
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