Dithiophosphoric Acid Monomers for Polymer Synthesis and Functionalization

Case ID:

This technology is a new polymer chemistry composed of –SH-P=S-function groups which can be made from elemental sulfur, white phosphorus, and cheap alcohols, providing a route for non-petroleum-based polymers from widely available raw materials. Functionalized polymers of a reaction product of a polymer including one or more olefins and a dithiophosphoric acid compound can provide a wide range of olefinic polymers in bulk-neat conditions or in solution via eletrophilic addition processes. Such new compositions provide a wide range of new functional polymers via an inexpensive polymer production process and as a route to low cost, specialty optical and flame-retardant polymers. Suitable olefins include polybutadienes, polyisoprenes, natural soluble or gum rubber, polydienes, and cyclic olefins.  

Dithiophosphoric acids (DTPAs) can be readily made by the reaction of phosphorus pentasulfide (P2S5), or the dimeric form (P4S10) with alcohols (ROH) to form a mono-functional dithiophosphoric acid. While dithiophosphoric acids have long been known in organic synthesis, the application and utility of these molecules for polymer functionalization have not been developed.


  • Production of natural rubber, soluble polydienes, synthetic SBR
  • Polynorbornene derivatives and other polymers derived from ring-opening metathesis
  • Any polymer containing an unsaturation
  • Optical polymers with high refractive index
  • Flame retardant polymers


  • Low cost raw materials
  • Neat/bulk or solution processing
  • New composition space for tuneability
  • Environmentally friendly
  • Can be non-petroleum based
  • Inexpensive chemical process
Patent Information:
Contact For More Information:
Laura Silva
Sr. Licensing Manager, COS
The University of Arizona
Lead Inventor(s):
Dong-Chul Pyun
Jianhua Bao
Jon Njardarson