Efficient catalysts for ring-opening polymerization of ε-caprolactone and β-butyrolactone: Synthesis and characterization of zinc complexes based on benzotriazole phenoxide ligands

Yu En Tai, Chen Yu Li, Chia Her Lin, Yi Chang Liu, Bao Tsan Ko*, Ya Sen Sun

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

34 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

A series of efficient zinc catalysts supported by sterically bulky benzotriazole phenoxide (BTP) ligands are synthesized and structurally characterized. The reactions of diethyl zinc (ZnEt2) with CMe2PhBTP-H, t-BuBTP-H, and TMClBTP-H yield monoadduct [(μ-BTP)ZnEt]2 (1-3), respectively. Bisadduct complex [(t-BuBTP)2Zn] (4) results from treatment of ZnEt 2 with t-BuBTP-H (2 equiv.) in toluene, but treatment of TMClBTP-H with ZnEt2 in the same stoichiometric proportion in Et2O produces five-coordinated monomeric complex [( TMClBTP)2Zn(Et2O)] (5). The molecular structures of compounds 1, 4, and 5 are characterized by X-ray crystal structure determinations. All complexes 1-5 are efficient catalysts for the ring-opening polymerization of ε-caprolactone (ε-CL) in the presence of 9-anthracenemethanol. Experimental results indicate that complex 3 exhibits the greatest activity with well-controlled character among these complexes. The polymerizations of ε-CL and β-butyrolactone catalyzed by 3 are demonstrated in a "living" character with narrow polydispersity indices (monomer-to-initiator ratio in the range of 25-200, PDIs ≤1.10). The character of 3 provides a way to synthesize as much as 16-fold polymer chains of poly(ε-CL) (PCL) with narrow PDI in the presence of a catalyst in a small proportion. The controlled fashion of complex 3 also enabled preparation of the PCL-b-poly(3-hydroxybutyrate) copolymer.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)4027-4036
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Polymer Science, Part A: Polymer Chemistry
Volume49
Issue number18
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2011 Sep 15
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • β-butyrolactone
  • ε-caprolactone
  • benzotriazole phenoxide
  • biodegradable
  • catalysts
  • living polymerization
  • polyesters
  • ring-opening polymerization
  • zinc

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Polymers and Plastics
  • Organic Chemistry
  • Materials Chemistry

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