Salt additives as activity boosters: a simple strategy to access heterometallic cooperativity in lactide polymerisation†
Inorganic salt additives can activate carbonyl groups towards organic addition reactions. Here, we translate this concept to ring-opening polymerisation for the first time, generating heterometallic ProPhenol catalysts in situ, which show similar activity enhancements to pre-formed heterometallic complexes. Extremely high activities are observed, with K/Mg and K/Ca combinations converting >85 eq. lactide in 5 s at room temperature.