Tandem catalysis: a new approach to polymers
The creation of polymers by tandem catalysis represents an exciting frontier in materials science. Tandem catalysis is one of the strategies used by Nature for building macromolecules. Living organisms generally synthesize macromolecules by in vivo enzyme-catalyzed chain growth polymerization reactions using activated monomers that have been formed within cells during complex metabolic processes. However, these biological processes rely on highly complex biocatalysts, thus limiting their industrial applications. In order to obtain polymers by tandem catalysis, homogeneous and enzyme catalysts have played a leading role in the last two decades. In the following feature article, we will describe selected published efforts to achieve these research goals.