Thermal and mechanical properties of sustainable aliphatic polyesters can be tuned through the synthesis of copolymers. The synthesis of two 14-membered macrolides are reported: a cyclic tetraester with alternating lactic acid (LA) and 3-hydroxypropionic acid (3HP) units and a cyclic diester with alternating glycolic acid (GA) and 2-methyl-1,3-propanediol (2MD) units. Ring-opening transesterification polymerization (ROTEP) of these macrolides to yield poly(LA-stat-3HP) and poly(GA-alt-2MD), respectively, were found to be modestly endothermic (ΔHp ° = 2.0 and 0.5 kJ mol -1 , respectively) and endoentropic (ΔSp ° = 27 and 23 J mol -1 K -1 , respectively). Inexpensive and nontoxic titanium isopropoxide Ti(Oi-Pr) 4 functions as an active catalyst for these entropically driven ROTEPs, achieving high conversions (>90%) in under 1 h. The polymerizations exhibit control over molar mass with dispersity values <1.7. poly(GA-alt-2MD) is an amorphous polymer with a low glass transition temperature near -30 °C. poly(LA-co-3HP) exhibits a glass transition temperature up to 13 °C and, depending on the regioregularity, exhibits a melting temperature up to 96 °C.
Entropically-driven macrolide polymerizations for the synthesis of aliphatic polyester copolymers using titanium isopropoxide
Hillmyer, M. A., Amador, A. G., Watts, A. & Neitzel, A. E., Data Repository for the University of Minnesota, 2019