Journal Article Organophosphate-catalyzed bulk ring-opening polymerization as an environmentally benign route leading to block copolyesters, end-functionalized polyesters, and polyester-based polyurethane

Saito, Tatsuya  ,  Aizawa, Yusuke  ,  Tajima, Kenji  ,  Isono, Takuya  ,  Satoh, Toshifumi

6 ( 24 )  , pp.4374 - 4384 , 2016-05-02 , Royal Society of Chemistry (RSC)
The ring-opening polymerizations (ROPs) of epsilon-caprolactone (epsilon-CL), delta-valerolactone, 1,5-dioxepan-2-one, trimethylene carbonate, and L-lactide were performed in the bulk using an organophosphate, such as diphenyl phosphate, bis(4-nitrophenyl)phosphate, and di(2,6-xylyl)phosphate, as the catalyst. The ROPs proceeded in a well-controlled manner even under the bulk conditions to afford well-defined aliphatic polyesters, polyester-ether, and polycarbonate with relatively low dispersities. Notably, the amount of the loaded catalyst was successfully reduced when compared to the conventional organophosphate-catalyzed ROP in solution. A kinetic study revealed the controlled/living nature of the present bulk ROP system, which allowed us to produce the block copolymers composed of polyesters, polyester-ether, and polycarbonate in one pot. Syntheses of the end-functionalized poly(epsilon-caprolactone)s (PCLs) and poly(trimethylene carbonate) were successfully demonstrated using alcohol initiators possessing highly reactive functional groups. Furthermore, the alpha,beta-dihydroxy telechelic PCL-diol as well as the three-and fourarmed star-shaped PCL-polyols were also easily obtained by using the polyols as an initiator. Finally, the one-pot synthesis of polyurethane via the ROP of epsilon-CL and a subsequent urethane forming reaction was demonstrated by taking advantage of the dual catalytic abilities of the organophosphate for both the ROP and polyurethane synthesis.

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