Date of Original Version
A cocatalyst system consisting of an alkylamine base and a bis(thiourea) featuring a linear alkane tether is shown to dramatically increase the rate of ring-opening polymerization (ROP) of l-lactide versus previously disclosed monothiourea H-bond donors. Rate acceleration occurs regardless of the identity of the alkylamine cocatalyst, and the ROP remains controlled yielding poly(lactide) with narrow molecular weight distributions, predictable molecular weights and high selectivity for monomer. This H-bond mediated ROP of l-lactide constitutes a rare, clear example of rate acceleration with bis(thiourea) H-bond donors versus monothioureas, and the bis(thiourea) is shown to remain highly active for ROP at fractional percent catalyst loadings. Activation at a single monomer ester by both thiourea moieties is implicated as the source of rate acceleration.
Spink, S. S., Kazakov, O. I., Kiesewetter, E. T., & Kiesewetter, M. K. (2015). Rate Accelerated Organocatalytic Ring-Opening Polymerization of l-Lactide via the Application of a Bis(thiourea) H-bond Donating Cocatalyst. Macromolecules, 48(17), 6127-6131. doi: 10.1021/acs.macromol.5b01320
Available at: https://doi.org/10.1021/acs.macromol.5b01320