Mediating Reaction Orthogonality in Polymer and Materials Science
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Selective control of chemical reactions is critical for the proper regulation of processes ranging from intricate biological systems to large scale industrial manufacturing. The progression of synthetic chemistry toward the complexity seen in Nature requires increased control over many concurrent chemical reactions in a non-interfering (orthogonal) fashion. Fortunately, the practically endless pool of synthetic chemical reactions developed to date can often be combined in an orthogonal manner to provide elegant solutions to complex chemical problems. In this review, we first highlight some of the many photochemical reactions that have been applied in orthogonal reaction protocols; the highly selective nature of photochemical reactions makes them well-suited for independent activation in the presence of other reaction components. The application of these orthogonal reactions, especially photochemical reactions, for the synthesis and modification of polymers and polymeric materials is also summarized. Importantly, the use of orthogonal chemical reactions can provide additional opportunities for synthesizing advanced and functional polymeric materials compared to traditional synthetic procedures.