Functionalization of Soluble Polydienes and Polyisoprenes using Dithiophosphoric Acids

Case ID:

Researchers at the University of Arizona have found that 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. Suitable olefins include polybutadienes, polyisoprenes, natural soluble or gum rubber, polydienes, and cyclic olefins. These novel and remarkable findings are anticipated to have broad technological impact as both a new inexpensive chemical process for polymer synthesis for the petrochemical and polymer industries, and as a route to low cost, specialty optical and flame-retardant polymers.  

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
  • Petrochemical industry


  • Low cost raw materials
  • Neat/bulk or solution processing
  • New composition space for tuneability
  • Versatile
Patent Information:
Contact For More Information:
Jonathan Larson
Senior Licensing Manager, College of Science
The University of Arizona
Lead Inventor(s):
Dong-Chul Pyun
Jon Njardarson