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Issue 4, 2014
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Macromolecular engineering via ring-opening polymerization (3): trimethylene carbonate block copolymers derived from glycerol

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Abstract

Linear trimethylene carbonate (1,3-dioxane-2-one, TMC) thermoplastic copolymers derived from glycerol have been synthesized upon sequential copolymerization. The “immortal” ring-opening polymerization (iROP) of the benzyloxy-substituted TMC, 3-benzyloxytrimethylene carbonate (BTMC), with systems composed of the β-diketiminate discrete zinc complex [(BDIiPr)Zn(N(SiMe3)2)] or the phosphazene base 2-tert-butylimino-2-diethylamino-1,3-dimethylperhydro-1,3,2-diazaphosphorine (BEMP) as a catalyst, and benzyl alcohol (BnOH) as an initiator/chain transfer agent is first described. Next, diblock and triblock copolycarbonates featuring a TMC segment along with one or two adjacent BTMC, or 2,2-dimethoxypropane-1,3-diol carbonate (TMC(OMe)2), or racemic β-butyrolactone (BL) chains have been prepared. The copolymerization under “immortal” operating conditions was carried out in bulk or toluene solution and promoted by [(BDIiPr)Zn(N(SiMe3)2)] as a catalyst, and either BnOH, 1,3-propanediol, or the poly(trimethylene carbonate) (PTMC) derived macro-ols, H-PTMC-OBn or H-PTMC-H, as an initiator/chain transfer agent. In particular, the PTMC-b-[poly(TMC(OMe)2)]1,2 couple of copolymers provide a basis for the assessment of thermal and mechanical property differentiation in close relationship with the co-monomers content. Unlike PTMC which is elastomeric and P(TMC(OMe)2) which is rather rigid and brittle much like semi-crystalline poly(L-lactide), the diblock and triblock copolymers show characteristics lying in between those of each homopolymer, without any significant influence of the topology. Thus PTMC/PTMC(OMe)2 block copolymers mechanically behave similarly to PTMC/PLLA block copolymers.

Graphical abstract: Macromolecular engineering via ring-opening polymerization (3): trimethylene carbonate block copolymers derived from glycerol

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Supplementary files

Article information


Submitted
19 Jul 2013
Accepted
19 Oct 2013
First published
22 Oct 2013

Polym. Chem., 2014,5, 1229-1240
Article type
Paper

Macromolecular engineering via ring-opening polymerization (3): trimethylene carbonate block copolymers derived from glycerol

W. Guerin, M. Helou, M. Slawinski, J. Brusson, J. Carpentier and S. M. Guillaume, Polym. Chem., 2014, 5, 1229
DOI: 10.1039/C3PY00955F

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