Tetrabutylammonium carbonate (TBAC) which is obtained by treating CO 2 with tetrabutylammonium hydroxide is shown to perform as an ideal difunctional initiator for the copolymerization of carbon dioxide (CO 2 ) and propylene oxide (PO) in the presence of triethylborane (TEB). In this system, CO 2 thus serves as the initiating moiety of its own copolymerization with epoxides when used in the form of a carbonate salt. Based on this remarkable result, mono-, tri-, and tetrafunctional ammonium carboxylate initiators and also other difunctional carboxylate initiators were synthesized and used for the synthesis of well-defined ω-hydroxyl-polycarbonates with linear and star structures. Well-defined telechelics, three- and four-armed star samples of molar mass varying from 1 kg/mol to 10 kg/mol, with around 95% carbonate content, were successfully synthesized. The structure of the obtained polycarbonate ω-polyols were characterized by 1 H NMR, MALDI-TOF, and GPC. The terminal hydroxyl functionality of polycarbonate diol was further used for polycondensation with diisocyanates to afford polyurethanes. Finally, taking TBAC as an example, the recyclability of this ammonium-based initiator is demonstrated for the preparation of polycarbonate diols.
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© 2019 American Chemical Society.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Organic Chemistry
- Polymers and Plastics
- Inorganic Chemistry
- Materials Chemistry