Synthesis of Isohexide Diyne Polymers and Hydrogenation to Their Saturated Polyethers

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The incorporation of renewable feedstocks into polymer backbones is of great importance in modern polymer science. We report the synthesis of 1,3-diyne polymers derived from the bispropargyl ethers of isosorbide, isomannide, and isoidide. The dialkyne monomers can be polymerized through an adaptation of the Glaser-Hay coupling using a nickel(II) cocatalyst. These well-defined diyne polymers bear an iodoalkyne end group, afforded through an unanticipated reductive elimination pathway, and display glass transition temperatures (Tg) from 55 to 64 °C. Fully saturated, analogous polyethers can be prepared from the hydrogenation of the diyne polymers, and these show Tg values between -10 and -2 °C. Both the 1,3-diyne polymers and the saturated analogues display similar trends in their Tg values vis-à-vis the stereochemical features of the isohexide unit within the backbone. This polymerization provided access to two series of isohexide-based polyethers, the thermal properties of which are influenced by the nature of the 2,4-hexadiynyl and hexamethylene linkers as well as the relative configuration of the bicyclic subunit in the backbone. The reported method represents an important step toward accessing well-defined polyethers from renewable feedstocks using readily available catalysts and convenient ambient conditions.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1068-1072
Number of pages5
JournalACS Macro Letters
StatePublished - Aug 3 2021

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This work was supported by the National Science Foundation Center for Sustainable Polymers (CHE-1901635), an NSF-funded Center for Chemical Innovation. Support for some of the instrumentation came from an NIH Shared Instrumentation Grant (S10OD011952, NMR) and an NIH Cancer Center Support Grant (CA-77598, MS).

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021 American Chemical Society.

PubMed: MeSH publication types

  • Journal Article
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't


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