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Issue 33, 2012
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Ring-opening polymerization of lactones using supramolecular organocatalysts under simple conditions

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Abstract

Ring-opening polymerizations of δ-valerolactone (δ-VL) and ε-caprolactone (ε-CL) were catalyzed by a metal-free system composed of two H-bonding components, a phenol derivative to activate the monomer, and DBU, which enhanced the nucleophilicity of the initiator and the propagating chain. Compared to other H-bonding systems for the ROP of lactones, phenol + DBU catalysts had the practical advantages of being commercially available and inexpensive, efficient at room temperature and under simple experimental conditions that avoid drying of reactants and the use of a glove-box. In addition, the obtained polyesters had a narrow dispersion of molar masses which were controlled by the concentration ratio of monomer versus initiator. Moreover, the initiation of the polymerization by DBU and residual water molecules (despite no specific drying of reagents) was shown to be very minor under the experimental conditions. No initiation by the phenol catalysts was observed. Block copolyesters PVL-PLA and PCL-PLA were also prepared using these conditions.

Graphical abstract: Ring-opening polymerization of lactones using supramolecular organocatalysts under simple conditions

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Publication details

The article was received on 16 Oct 2012, accepted on 17 Oct 2012 and first published on 19 Oct 2012


Article type: Paper
DOI: 10.1039/C2RA22535B
Citation: RSC Adv., 2012,2, 12851-12856

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    Ring-opening polymerization of lactones using supramolecular organocatalysts under simple conditions

    C. Thomas, F. Peruch and B. Bibal, RSC Adv., 2012, 2, 12851
    DOI: 10.1039/C2RA22535B

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