Diblock dialternating terpolymers by one-step/one-pot highly selective organocatalytic multimonomer polymerization

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34 Scopus citations


The synthesis of well-defined block copolymers from a mixture of monomers without additional actions (“one-pot/one-step”) is an ideal and industrially valuable method. In addition, the presence of controlled alternating sequences in one or both blocks increases the structural diversity of polymeric materials, but, at the same time, the synthetic difficulty. Here we show that the “one-pot/one-step” ring-opening terpolymerization of a mixture of three monomers ($\textit{N}$-sulfonyl aziridines; cyclic anhydrides and epoxides), with $\textit{tert}$-butylimino-tris(dimethylamino)phosphorene ($\textit{t}$-BuP$_1$) as a catalyst, results in perfect diblock dialternating terpolymers having a sharp junction between the two blocks, with highly-controllable molecular weights and narrow molecular weight distributions ($\textit{Ð}$ < 1.08). The organocatalyst switches between two distinct polymerization cycles without any external stimulus, showing high monomer selectivity and kinetic control. The proposed mechanism is based on NMR, in-situ FTIR, SEC, MALDI-ToF, reactivity ratios, and kinetics studies.
Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalNature Communications
Issue number1
StatePublished - Dec 8 2021

Bibliographical note

KAUST Repository Item: Exported on 2021-12-14
Acknowledgements: The research work was supported by King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST), Thuwal, Saudi Arabia.

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology
  • General Chemistry
  • General Physics and Astronomy


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