Lithium achieves sequence selective ring-opening terpolymerisation (ROTERP) of ternary monomer mixtures

Abstract

Heteroatom-containing degradable polymers have strong potential as sustainable replacements for petrochemically derived materials. However, to accelerate and broaden their uptake greater structural diversity and new synthetic methodologies are required. Here we report a sequence selective ring-opening terpolymerisation (ROTERP), in which three monomers (A, B, C) are selectively enchained into an (ABA′C)n sequence by a simple lithium catalyst. Degradable poly(ester-alt-ester-alt-trithiocarbonate)s are obtained in a Mn range from 2.35 to 111.20 kDa which are not easily accessible via other polymerisation methodologies. The choice of alkali metal is key to achieve high activity and to control the terpolymer sequence. ROTERP is mechanistically compatible with ring-opening polymerisation (ROP) allowing switchable catalysis for blockpolymer synthesis. The ROTERP demonstrated in this study could be the first example of an entirely new family of sequence selective terpolymerisations.

Graphical abstract: Lithium achieves sequence selective ring-opening terpolymerisation (ROTERP) of ternary monomer mixtures

Supplementary files

Article information

Article type
Edge Article
Submitted
28 Mar 2022
Accepted
04 May 2022
First published
05 May 2022
This article is Open Access

All publication charges for this article have been paid for by the Royal Society of Chemistry
Creative Commons BY license

Chem. Sci., 2022, Advance Article

Lithium achieves sequence selective ring-opening terpolymerisation (ROTERP) of ternary monomer mixtures

S. Rupf, P. Pröhm and A. J. Plajer, Chem. Sci., 2022, Advance Article , DOI: 10.1039/D2SC01776H

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