Using Triethylborane to Manipulate Reactivity Ratios in Epoxide-Anhydride Copolymerization: Application to the Synthesis of Polyethers with Degradable Ester Functions

Vamshi Krishna Chidara, Yves Gnanou, Xiaoshuang Feng

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations

Abstract

The anionic ring-opening copolymerization (ROCOP) of epoxides, namely of ethylene oxide (EO), with anhydrides (AH) generally produces strictly alternating copolymers. With triethylborane (TEB)-assisted ROCOP of EO with AH, statistical copolymers of high molar mass including ether and ester units could be obtained. In the presence of TEB, the reactivity ratio of EO (rEO), which is normally equal to 0 in its absence, could be progressively raised to values lower than 1 or higher than 1. Conditions were even found to obtain rEO equal or close to 1. Samples of P(EO-co-ester) with minimal compositional drift could be synthesized; upon basic degradation of their ester linkages, these samples afforded poly(ethylene oxide) (PEO) diol samples of narrow molar mass distribution. In other cases where rEO were lower or higher than 1, the PEO diol samples eventually isolated after degradation exhibited a broader distribution of molar masses because of the compositional drift of initial P(EO-co-ester) samples.
Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)466
JournalMolecules
Volume27
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 11 2022

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Organic Chemistry

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