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1. (WO1998050453) POLYMERS AND THEIR PREPARATION
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CLAIMS

1. A process for the preparation of a hyperbranched polymer by the polymerisation of a compound containing a single group (A) of one chemical type and at least two groups (B) of a different chemical type which is reactive with (A) , characterised in that the single group (A) is a group of the formula:


where Q represents 0 or S and X represents -0-, -S-, -NH- or a direct bond, the group being linked to the remainder of the compound through a carbon atom.

2. A process for the preparation of a hyperbranched polymer by the polymerisation of a compound containing a single group (A) of one chemical type and at least two groups (B) of a different chemical type which is reactive with (A) , characterised in that either the group (A) or the group (B) is a group of the formula:


where Q represents 0 or S and X' represents -NH- or a direct bond, the group being linked to the remainder of the compound through a carbon atom.

3. A process according to claim 2, for the preparation of a hyperbranched polyurea, characterised in that the groups (B) are

groups and the group (A) is a secondary

amine group

4. A process according to claim 2, for the preparation of a hyperbranched polyester, characterised in that the group (II) is a - C - N N group
0 ^^^
and the other group (A) or (B) is a hydroxyl group.

5. A process according to claim 2, for the preparation of a hyperbranched polyurethane, characterised in that the group (II) ιs a - N - C - N N group
I H \ /
H 0 ^—
and the other group (A) or (B) is a primary or secondary alcohol group.

6. A process for the preparation of a hyperbranched polymer by the polymerisation of a compound containing a single group (A) of one chemical type and at least two groups (B) of a different chemical type which is reactive with (A) , characterised in that a precursor compound, containing either a single group (A' ) of one chemical type reactive with carbonyl diimidazole and at least two groups

(B) of a different chemical type from A' which is less reactive than A' with carbonyl diimidazole or at least two groups (B' ) of one chemical type reactive with carbonyl diimidazole and a single group (A) of a different chemical type from B' which is less reactive than B' with carbonyl diimidazole, is reacted with carbonyl diimidazole under conditions such that only the group A' or the groups B' react with the carbonyl diimidazole to form imidazolide groups, and the resulting compound containing imidazolide groups is polymerised under more vigorous reaction conditions to form the hyperbranched polymer.

7. A process according to claim 6, for the preparation of a hyperbranched polyester, characterised in that the group A' or groups B' of the precursor compound are carboxylic acid groups and the groups B or A respectively of the precursor compound are hydroxyl groups , and the more vigorous reaction conditions comprise heating or catalysis by a basic catalyst.

8. A process according to claim 6, for the preparation of a hyperbranched polyurethane, characterised in that the group A' or groups B' of the precursor compound are primary amine groups and the groups B or A respectively of the precursor compound are primary or secondary alcohol groups, and the more vigorous reaction conditions comprise heating or catalysis by a basic catalyst.

9. A process according to claim 6, for the preparation of a hyperbranched polyurea, characterised in that the precursor compound is a diprimary secondary amine and is reacted with carbonyl diimidazole at 0°C or below, and the more vigorous reaction conditions comprise a higher temperature which is ambient temperature or above.

10. A process for the preparation of a hyperbranched polymer, characterised in that a polyfunctional compound having at least three reactive functional groups (B) is reacted in substantially equimolar quantities with a reagent which reacts rapidly with group (B) to form a group (A) which reacts more slowly with group (B) than the reagent does .

11. A process according to claim 10, characterised in that the reagent is carbonyl diimidazole and the groups (B) are primary amine or primary alcohol groups.

12. A process according to claim 10, characterised in that the reagent is an imidazolide containing two groups of the formula : -


where Q represents 0 or S and X represents -0-, -S-, -NH- or a direct bond, the group being linked to the remainder of the compound through a carbon atom, and the polyfunctional compound is a tris (primary amine) or a tris (primary alcohol) .

13. A process according to claim 10, characterised in that the said polyfunctional compound is an imidazolide containing three groups of the formula (I) as defined in claim 3 and the reagent is a compound containing two primary amine or primary alcohol groups .

14. A hyperbranched polymer characterised in that all or most of the chemical linkages in the polymer are urea linkages .

15. A process for the preparation of a hyperbranched polymer by the polymerisation of a compound containing a single group (A) of one chemical type and at least two groups (B) of a different chemical type which is reactive with (A) , characterised in that either the group (A) or the group (B) is a group of formula (I) as defined in claim 6 and in that a hyperbranched copolymer is formed by polymerising together at least two such compounds.

16. A process according to claim 15, characterised in that the groups of formula (I) in one of the said two compounds are different from the groups of formula (I) in the other compound.

17. A process according to claim 15, characterised in that one of the said two compounds is an aromatic compound and the other is an aliphatic compound.

18. A hyperbranched polymer formed by the polymerisation of at least one compound containing a single group (A) of one chemical type and at least two groups (B) of a different chemical type which is reactive with (A) , characterised in that the hyperbranched polymer is a copolymer containing two different chemical linkages, one of said linkages being selected from urea, urethane and carbonate linkages and the other of said linkages being selected from urea, urethane, carbonate, ester and amine linkages .