Facile synthesis of poly(trimethylene carbonate) by alkali metal carboxylate-catalyzed ring-opening polymerization

Kaoru Takojima, Tatsuya Saito, Cedric Vevert, Viko Ladelta, Panagiotis Bilalis, Jun Watanabe, Shintaro Hatanaka, Takashi Konno, Takuya Yamamoto, Kenji Tajima, Nikos Hadjichristidis, Takuya Isono, Toshifumi Satoh

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations

Abstract

Alkali metal carboxylates, including sodium acetate, sodium benzoate, and sodium sorbate, which are all readily available and widely used as food additives, were found to promote the ring-opening polymerization (ROP) of trimethylene carbonate (TMC) to produce poly(trimethylene carbonate) (PTMC). The sodium acetate-catalyzed ROP of TMC proceeded in the presence of an alcohol initiator under solvent-free conditions at 70 °C, even at very low catalyst loadings of 0.01–0.0001 mol%. The controlled nature of this ROP system enabled the synthesis of PTMCs with predicted molecular weights ranging from 2400 to 11 700 g mol−1 and narrow dispersities (~1.23). Importantly, ROP is initiated by an alcohol initiator, allowing PTMC production with desired functional groups, such as azido, alkyne, and methacrylate groups, at the α-chain end. Furthermore, the poly(L-lactic acid)-b-PTMC-b-poly(L-lactic acid) triblock copolymer, a biodegradable thermoplastic elastomer, was successfully synthesized in one pot via the sodium acetate-catalyzed ring-opening block copolymerization of TMC and L-lactide with a 1,3-propanediol initiator.
Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)103-110
Number of pages8
JournalPolymer Journal
Volume52
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Sep 24 2019

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