Poly(carbonate) copolymers with a tailored number of hydroxyl groups from glycidyl ethers and CO2†
Functional poly(carbonate)s with multiple hydroxyl functionalities have been prepared by copolymerization of carbon dioxide (CO2) with glycidyl methyl ether (GME) and benzyl glycidyl ether (BGE) in various ratios, using a diethylzinc–pyrogallol catalyst system. Subsequent catalytic hydrogenation was employed for removal of the benzyl protecting groups at the polymer backbone. A series of copolymers with varying comonomer fractions from 0 to 100% was obtained. The copolymers possessed a broad range of molecular weights from 9000 to 30 000 g mol−1 and showed polydispersities Mw/Mn between 2.4 and 3.6. The materials were characterized via1H and 13C NMR, SEC and differential scanning calorimetry (DSC). The deprotected copolymers are structurally simple materials consisting of carbon dioxide, GME and glycerol. These functional poly(carbonate)s represent degradable materials with tailored functionality.