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Issue 9, 2015
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Tuning thermal properties and microphase separation in aliphatic polyester ABA copolymers

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Abstract

Four alkyl substituted β-lactones were investigated as monomers in ring opening polymerisation to produce a family of poly(3-hydroxyalkanoate)s. Homopolymers were synthesised using a robust aluminium salen catalyst, resulting in polymers with low dispersity (Đ < 1.1) and predictable molecular weights. ABA triblock copolymers were prepared using poly(L-lactic acid) as the A block and the aforementioned poly(3-hydroxyalkanoate) as the B block via a sequential addition method. Characterisation of these copolymers determined they were well controlled with low dispersities and predictable molecular weight. DSC analysis determined copolymers prepared from β-butyrolactone or β-valerolactone yielded polymers with tunable and predictable thermal properties. Copolymers prepared from β-heptanolactone yielded a microphase separated material as indicated by SAXS, with two distinct Tgs. The polymers could be readily cast into flexible films and their improved tensile properties were explored.

Graphical abstract: Tuning thermal properties and microphase separation in aliphatic polyester ABA copolymers

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Supplementary files

Article information


Submitted
27 Oct 2014
Accepted
29 Nov 2014
First published
01 Dec 2014

This article is Open Access

Polym. Chem., 2015,6, 1445-1453
Article type
Paper
Author version available

Tuning thermal properties and microphase separation in aliphatic polyester ABA copolymers

J. P. MacDonald, M. P. Parker, B. W. Greenland, D. Hermida-Merino, I. W. Hamley and M. P. Shaver, Polym. Chem., 2015, 6, 1445
DOI: 10.1039/C4PY01459F

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