Zwitterionic polymerization of glycidyl monomers to cyclic polyethers with B(C6F5)3†
A new method of generating cyclic polyethers is reported. Glycidyl monomers react with B(C6F5)3 to generate cyclic polyethers under anhydrous conditions. In the presence of water, linear chains are formed. A zwitterionic ring-opening polymerization mechanism is postulated based on experimental evidence and DFT calculations. The obtained cyclic polyethers can be considered a new family of crown ethers, where peripheral functional groups such as phenyls, fluorinated aliphatic chains or hydroxyls decorate the rings.