Ultrarapid cerium(III)–NHC catalysts for high molar mass cyclic polylactide
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Cyclic polyesters could improve the properties of degradable plastics, but routes to them that provide a product with faster rates, higher molar mass, and greater selectivity for cyclic vs linear polymer are needed. Here, homogeneous Ce(III)–N-heterocyclic carbene (NHC) catalysts show outstanding activities (turn-over-frequency (TOF) > 864 000 h–1), excellent control, and selectivity for cyclic polylactide (PLA) topology (>95%), yielding high molar mass PLA (60 < Mn < 250 kg mol–1). They efficiently produce cyclic PLA from rac-lactide or l-lactide and aliphatic cyclic polyesters from ε-caprolactone or β-butyrolactone. The enhanced performances are only achievable from combining cooperative Lewis acidic cerium(III) and hemilabile N-heterocyclic carbene functionalities.
Kerr , R W F , Ewing , P , Raman , S K , Smith , A D , Williams , C K & Arnold , P L 2021 , ' Ultrarapid cerium(III)–NHC catalysts for high molar mass cyclic polylactide ' , ACS Catalysis , vol. 11 , pp. 1563-1569 . https://doi.org/10.1021/acscatal.0c04858
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DescriptionThe EPSRC are acknowledged for research funding through the Centre for Doctoral Training in Critical Resource Catalysis (CRITICAT, EP/ L016419/1, R. W. F. K., P. M. D. A. E.), EP/J018139/1, the UK Catalysis Hub (EP/K014714/1, P. L. A., C. K. W., S. K. R.), EP/M010554/1 (P. L. A.) and EP/S018603/1 (C. K. W.). This project has received funding from the European Research Council (ERC) under the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme (grant agreement No 740311, P.L.A.).
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