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Synthesis of Cu-II-complexed polymers and use as catalysts in the hydrolytic decontamination of Sarin nerve agent

Blacker, N.C. and Findlay, P.H. and Sherrington, D.C. (2001) Synthesis of Cu-II-complexed polymers and use as catalysts in the hydrolytic decontamination of Sarin nerve agent. Polymers for Advanced Technologies, 12 (3-4). pp. 183-196. ISSN 1042-7147

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A range of polymer-supported bidentate amine Cu-II complexes have been synthesized based on linens polymers, crosslinked resins and hydrogels as precursor species. Linear styrene, acrylate and methacrylate structures have been examined along with reactive crosslinked resins derived from vinylbenzyl chloride, glycidyl methacrylate and methacrylic acid (Amberlite IRC-50). Hydrogels based on hydroxyethyl methacrylate, hydroxyethyl acrylate and hydroxypropyl acrylate, each copolymerized with a diamine containing monomer, have also been prepared. Each Cu-II-complexed polymer has been assessed as a catalyst in the hydrolytic decomposition of the nerve agent, Sarin, as a possible strategy for developing self-decontaminating materials and coatings for both personnel and equipment in the event of a nerve agent challenge in the field. Based on the measured half-lives for hydrolysis of Sarin all of the polymer Cu-II complexes show remarkable catalytic activity relative to the rate of the uncatalyzed hydrolysis reaction. The linear polymethacrylate-based catalysts are the most active followed by the linens polystyrene-based species, the macroporous polymethacrylates and the polystyrene resins. The polymethacrylate hydrogels are the least effective, It seems therefore that the hydrophilic/hydrophobic balance is important in controlling Sarin access to the catalytic sites, and this seems to be optimal in the linear polymethacrylate-based catalysts. The results are discussed further in the context of the existing literature.