Macrocyclic polystyrenes with various molecular weight were prepared by the reaction of linear polystyrene having two end vinyl groups and potassium naphthalenide as a coupling agent. Intermolecular side reactions produced higher molecular weight polycondensates and undesirable chain termination reactions also produced linear precursors in addition to the designed molecules. In order to isolate cyclic polymers from the ring closure reaction mixtures, preparative size exclusion chromatography (SEC) method was employed. The purity of SEC-fractionated cyclic polystyrenes was rigorously examined by liquid chromatography at the critical condition (LCCC) and interaction chromatography (IC). After SEC-fractionation, we obtained large amount of highly pure cyclic polymers, though high molecular weight cyclic polymers contain very small amount of linear precursor (< 5%). The purity and isotope effect on reversed-phase liquid chromatography (RPLC) were also rigorously investigated by preparing a deuterated cyclic polystyrene.
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