Ring-opening polymerization of ω-pentadecalactone catalyzed by phosphazene superbases†
A fast and living ring-opening polymerization (ROP) of ω-pentadecalactone (PDL), a representative monomer of macrolactones, was achieved using a primary alcohol as the initiator and t-BuP4 or t-octP4 as the catalyst. The use of t-BuP2 instead of the t-BuP4 superbase slows down the polymerization rate. The ROP of PDL proceeds to high conversion not only at 80 °C in bulk but also at room temperature and in dilute solution. The synthesized PDL homopolymers and block copolymers with poly(ethylene glycol) were characterized by high-temperature GPC (HT-GPC), 1H NMR and matrix-assisted laser desorption/ionization time-of-flight mass spectrometry (MALDI-TOF-MS). Melting temperatures, determined by differential scanning calorimetry, are also reported.