Thiolactone chemistry, a versatile platform for macromolecular engineering
Thiolactones are often described as latent thiols. They can be ring-opened by hydroxy or amine groups releasing thiols, which can further react with a large variety of functional groups. Based on this one-pot cascade reaction, versatile and powerful tools have been developed for macromolecular engineering. This review covers the different uses of γ-thiobutyrolactones in polymer chemistry either as thiolation agents, as linkers, as ring-opening polymerization monomers, as reactant in stepwise polymerization, as components of initiating systems, or as functional handles for double post-modification reactions.