A living polymerization process is one that can produce polymers of predetermind molecular weight and a narrow molecular weight distribution containing one or more monomer sequences, the length and composition of which are controlled by stoichiometry of the polymerization reaction and degree of conversion. One such process is reversible addition-fragmentation-termination (RAFT). While compounds made by RAFT function effectively as chain transfer agents, they share one major disadvantage with the entire class of sulfur-based compounds: a characteristic disagreeable odor. This invention is directed to low odor alpha-cyano-dithiocarboxylic ester compounds for use as chain transfer agents in free radical polymerizations and polymerization processes employing them.This group of compounds is useful in RAFT controlled radical polymerization technique.The major improvement of these compounds is their odorless nature, as most other compounds used for this purpose contain sulfur and smell extremely unpleasant.

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Natasha Sanford