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J Am Chem Soc. 2001 Apr 11;123(14):3229-38.

Polymerization of lactide with zinc and magnesium beta-diiminate complexes: stereocontrol and mechanism.

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1
Department of Chemistry and Chemical Biology, Baker Laboratory, Cornell University, Ithaca, New York 14853-1301, USA.

Abstract

A series of zinc(II) and magnesium(II) alkoxides based upon a beta-diiminate ligand framework has been prepared. [(BDI-1)ZnO(i)Pr](2) [(BDI-1) = 2-((2,6-diisopropylphenyl)amido)-4-((2,6-diisopropylphenyl)imino)-2-pentene] exhibited the highest activity and stereoselectivity of the zinc complexes studied for the polymerization of rac- and meso-lactide to poly(lactic acid) (PLA). [(BDI-1)ZnO(i)()Pr](2) polymerized (S,S)-lactide to isotactic PLA without epimerization of the monomer, rac-lactide to heterotactic PLA (P(r) = 0.94 at 0 degrees C), and meso-lactide to syndiotactic PLA (P(r) = 0.76 at 0 degrees C). The polymerizations are living, as evidenced by the narrow polydispersities of the isolated polymers in addition to the linear nature of number average molecular weight versus conversion plots and monomer-to-catalyst ratios. The substituents on the beta-diiminate ligand exert a significant influence upon the course of the polymerizations, affecting both the degree of stereoselectivity and the rate of polymerization. Kinetic studies with [(BDI-1)ZnO(i)Pr](2) indicate that the polymerizations are first order with respect to monomer (rac-lactide) and 1.56 order in catalyst. Polymerization experiments with [(BDI-1)MgO(i)Pr](2) revealed that this complex is extremely fast for the polymerization of rac-lactide, polymerizing 500 equiv in 96% yield in less than 5 min at 20 degrees C.

PMID:
11457057
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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