Physics meets polymerisation chemistry: Modelling the Wurtz reaction

Tom McLeish*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


Polysilanes grown by Wurtz-type synthesis on a catalyst surface show a puzzling tri-modal distribution of molecular weight. In this paper, Tom McLeish briefly reviews a collaborative approach between polymer chemistry and theoretical physics aimed at building a quantitative model of this process and explains how tri-modal distributions emerge naturally when chiral defects in the growing chains interact.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)239-241
Number of pages3
JournalPolymer international
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 5 May 2009


  • Polymerisation theory
  • Polysilane
  • Wurtz synthesis

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