Lithiation–alkylation of Polystyrene Occurs Only on the Ring
Journal of Polymer Science: Part A, Polymer Chemistry
When polystyrene is treated with an organolithium reagent, the hydrogen on the para carbon is removed and this position may be alkylated with e.g., iodomethane or chlorotrimethylsilane. The metalation occurs directly at this position and does not involve metalation at the benzylic carbon with resonance distribution of the charge to the ring. The reaction of cumene with butyllithium also occurs by direct ring metalation and it is shown that these results are consistent with both the kinetic and the thermodynamic acidity of the hydrocarbons.