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Current Applied Polymer Science


ISSN (Print): 2452-2716
ISSN (Online): 2452-2724

Research Article

Ring-Opening Polymerization of L-lactide Initiated by Samarium(III) Acetate

Author(s): Jesús Miguel Contreras Ramírez*, Dimas Medina, Francisco López-Carrasquero and Ricardo Rafael Contreras

Volume 3 , Issue 2 , 2019

Page: [112 - 119] Pages: 8

DOI: 10.2174/2452271602666181114094536

Price: $65


Background: The synthesis of the aliphatic polyesters obtained by the ring opening polymerization has been achieved using as initiators a large amount of organometallic compounds derivative from: Alkali metals, alkaline earth metals, transition metals and lanthanide metals. Of all these compounds, the lanthanide derivatives have acquired great importance in the synthesis of aliphatic polyesters, since these show a greater catalytic activity and also can provide polymer with characteristics that will be very useful in the design of biomaterials.

Objective: It was proposed the synthesis of poly(L-lactida) (PL-LA) through a ring opening polymerization process of L-lactide initiated with samarium(III) acetate (Sm(OAc)3) under solvent-free melt conditions. The influence of different parameters of reaction, such as temperature, time, molar ratio monomer to initiator, on typical variables of polymers, e.g., conversion, dispersity, and molar mass, were analyzed.

Methods: All polymerizations were carried out under solvent-free melt conditions in ampoules-like flasks, equipped with a magnetic stirrer. The obtained polyesters were characterized by size exclusion chromatography (SEC) and 1H-NMR.

Results: The Sm(OAc)3 induces the polymerization of L-LA at high conversion, and produce polyesters with number-average molecular weights of 1.00 x 103 to 30.00 x 103 Dalton. The 1H-NMR analysis indicates a typical polymerization mechanism of coordination-insertion, with a breakdown of the acyl-oxygen bond of the L-LA.

Conclusion: Sm(OAc)3 was an effective initiator for the ring-opening polymerization of L-LA. SEC chromatography showed that, at high temperatures and prolonged reaction times, the molar mass of the polyester decreases, which is associated with the transesterification collateral reactions that occur during the polymerization process.

Keywords: Aliphatic polyesters, L-lactide, poly(L-lactide), polycondensation, ring-opening polymerization, Samarium(III) acetate.

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