Past Members

Dr Prodip Sarker

New energetic binders and other novel materials via radical ring-opening polymerisation of chemically functional vinylcyloalkanes

Post Doctoral Research Fellow working with Dr. S Rimmer, funded by the EPSRC and the MoD  [2003-2006], then Research Scientist for Farapack Polymers UK LTD [2006 – 2011].


The aim of this project is to prepare, by radical ring-opening polymerisation (RROP), and to fully characterise a range of novel chemically reactive polyalkenamers, and to assess the performances of these as reactive components for the construction of energetic binders and other functional materials.
sarker_01 (4K)


Above: Schematic of the radical ring-opening polymerisation (RROP) technique.With this in mind, we have planned to synthesise a group of vinyl cyclopropanes and cyclobutanes substituted by electron withdrawing ester groups that can be converted to hydroxyl groups and then to nitrate these groups by reacting them with N2O5. Homo and co-polymerisation of these vinyl cyclopropanes and cyclobutanes will be accomplished using a free radical initiator, e.g. azobisisobutyronitrile and bezoyl peroxide, both in solution and bulk within the temperature range 60°-80°C. Homo and copolymerisation of these vinylcycloalkanes will also be accomplished in emulsion using potassium persulfate (KPS) as an initiator and sodium dodecyl sulfate (SDS) as an emulsifying agent at 70°C.

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Selected publications

  1. P K Sarker and S Rimmer, “Synthesis of oligo (isobutyl vinyl ether) with silyl enol ether end group and their aldol reactions with benzaldehyde”, J. Macromol. Chemistry & Physics, 2005, 206, 1280-1287.
  2. S Rimmer, S Collins and P Sarker, “Preparation of highly branched poly(vinyl acetate) by transfer to allylic carbonate comonomers”, Chemical Communication (J. Royal Society of Chemistry), 2005, 48, 6029-6031.
  3. W Lang, P K Sarker and S Rimmer, “Cationic polymerisation of vinyl ethers in the presence of silyl enol ethers”, J. Macromol. Chemistry & Physics, 2004, 205, 1011-1020.
  4. P Sarker, S Rimmer, “Poly(methyl vinyl ether-block-lactide) particles, Transactions” – 7th World Biomaterials Congress, 2004, 1165.
  5. P Sarker and S Rimmer, “Branched poly(vinyl cyclopropane) by transfer to allylic carbonate comonomers via radical ring opening polymerization”, Macromolecular Rapid Communication, 2006, Accepted (Front cover feature).
  6. P Sarker and S. Rimmer, “Polymer beads functionalized with poly(vinyl ether) brushes with ester end groups”, J. Am. Chem. Soc., 2006 (submitted).
  7. N C Kalarickal, S Rimmer, P Sarker and J C Leroux, “Thiol-functionalized poly(ethyleneglycol)-b-polyesters: synthesis and characterization”, Macromolecules, 2006 (submitted).