New paper in Collaboration with the Laboratory of Polymeric and Composite Materials (UMONS)

Accelerating effect of crown ethers on the lactide polymerization catalysed by potassium acetate
Accelerating effect of crown ethers on the lactide polymerization catalysed by potassium acetate

Recent advances in catalysis enriched the toolbox to prepare well-defined polyester materials such as polylactide (PLA). Herein, we report the use of crown ethers to speed up the polymerization of L-lactide (L-LA) initiated by an exogenous alcohol and catalyzed by potassium acetate (KOAc). With KOAc, the crown ethers played a crucial role as a complexing agent, with 18-crown-6 enabling the fastest polymerization kinetics outpacing the one obtained with the pristine catalyst by not less than 73. Experimental results suggested that the 18-c-6 crown ether complexed the KOAc ion pair to in situ produce free ions, which was much more appropriate to activate the propagating alcohol for the ring-opening reaction of L-LA.

https://doi.org/10.1039/D1CY00756D