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Vol. 31 No. 5
September-October 2009

Conference Call | Reports from recent conferences and symposia 
See also www.iupac.org/indexes/Conferences

Radical Polymerization

by Graeme Moad

The symposium Materials of The Future, Science of Today: Radical Polymerization—The Next Stage took place in Melbourne, Australia, from 15–17 February 2009 at the University of Melbourne’s Bio21 Institute. The conference attracted approximately 116 participants from Australia, China, France, Germany, Iran, Japan, New Zealand, South Africa, and the USA. IUPAC sponsorship was vital in providing international recognition and credibility and in helping to attract high-quality speakers, many of whom came without funding from the conference.

The conference explored recent developments in radical polymerization and its application. A particular focus of the meeting was radical polymerization with RAFT (Reversible Addition Fragmentation chain Transfer). The meeting also celebrated the 65th birthday and record of scientific achievement of Ezio Rizzardo (CSIRO Molecular and Health Technologies), a pioneer of reversible deactivation radical polymerization and one of the inventors of the RAFT process.

Following welcoming remarks by Greg Simpson (deputy chief, CSIRO Molecular and Health Technologies), the conference commenced with a plenary lecture by Rizzardo on “Perspectives of RAFT Polymerization—Something Old and Something New,” in which he announced a new class of “switchable” RAFT agents. Four speakers then provided an industrial perspective on the applications of RAFT polymerization: Mike Fryd (DuPont) talked about “RAFT Technology for Microlithographic Applications,” Mathias Destarac (Rhodia) discussed “Some Industrial Aspects of the MADIX Technology,” Chris Such (Orica/Dulux) presented “RAFT Polymerization—A Coating Technologists View,” and Kate Dawson (CSIRO), “RAFT—The New Horizon,” mentioned the commercial availability of research quantities of RAFT agents through Strem and announced the formation of the “RAFT Alliance.” The RAFT Alliance is a CSIRO-facilitated, global knowledge-exchange community, enabling members to network and share recent developments in both RAFT-related research findings and industrial applications. It is intended that membership will be free to academia.

Bert Klumperman, San Thang, Heather Maynard, and Michael Monteiro at a poster session.

Other plenary speakers included Andrew Holmes (CSIRO Molecular and Health Technologies and Bio21 Institute), “Seeing the Light with Polymers”; Thomas Davis (University of New South Wales), “The Stabilization and Biofunctionalization of Iron Oxide Nanoparticles”; Bert Klumperman (Stellenbosch University), “RAFT-Mediated Polymerization towards Advanced Macromolecular Architectures”; Krzysztof Matyjaszewski (Carnegie Mellon University), “ATRP and RAFT: Taking the Best of Each World”; Heather Maynard (University of California, Los Angeles) “RAFT Polymerization to Synthesize Polymer Bioconjugates for Therapeutic Applications”; and Charles McCormick (University of Southern Mississippi) “Aqueous RAFT Polymerization—A Technology Relevant to Biomedicine.”

In all, there were 23 presentations and 23 posters presented over the two and a half days of the conference. All delegates benefited from extensive networking opportunities during both informal/social events and structured panel and poster sessions.

The International Advisory Board was composed of IUPAC President Jung-Il Jin (Korea), Michael Buback (Germany), Takeshi Fukuda (Japan), Greg Russell (New Zealand), and Michael Fryd (USA). The meeting was sponsored by IUPAC, the Royal Australian Chemical Institute Polymer Division, CSIRO, DuPont, and Davies Collison Cave.

The conference program remains available online at <www.csiro.au/resources/RAFT-Conference-Program.html>.

Graeme Moad <graeme.moad@csiro.au> is research group leader at CSIRO Molecular and Health Technologies, in Clayton South, Australia. He was the Conference Program Committee chair.


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