Access to high-molecular-weight poly(γ-butyrolactone) by using simple commercial catalysts†
The emerging poly(γ-butyrolactone) (PGBL) represents a significant branch of sustainable polymers that exhibit full chemical recyclability. However, it is a great challenge to synthesize high-molecular-weight PGBL. Herein, we present simple commercial organomagnesium compounds for ring-opening polymerization (ROP) of γ-butyrolactone (GBL). Through facile manipulation of the reaction conditions, the topology of PGBL could be well controlled. The addition of organomagnesium into the premixture of GBL and Ph2CHOH yielded predominantly Ph2CHO/H terminated linear polymers. By using di-n-butylmagnesium in the absence of Ph2CHOH, predominantly linear PGBL (Mn, SEC-MALS = 110 kg mol−1) with butyl/H chain ends was produced and it exhibited enhanced mechanical properties (elongation at break 735%, tensile strength 50.1 MPa). We believe that this contribution would provide insights into sustainable polymer synthesis and catalysis.
- This article is part of the themed collection: Sustainable Polymers