Repurposing Poly(monothiocarbonate)s to Poly(thioether)s by Organic Bases
This work reports a unique one-pot/one-step route to rapidly produce poly(thioether)s from poly(monothiocarbonate) (PMTC), a sulfur-containing polymer, using commercially available organic bases. The process underwent firstly the degradation of PMTC to cyclic monothiocarbonate that generated episulfide via decarboxylative reaction, and then ring-opening polymerization of episulfide. Organic bases catalyzed the degradation of PMTC and initiated the ring-opening of generated cyclic monothiocarbonate. This process was successfully expanded to the transformation of several PMTCs to the corresponding poly(thioether)s. The resultant poly(thioether)s exhibit higher thermal decomposition temperatures (up to 311 °C), higher refractive indexes (ca. 1.62) and lower glass transition temperatures (-48 °C) than those of the corresponding PMTCs. This work provides a polymer-to-polymer pathway for repurposing poly(monothiocarbonate)s.