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Title: Chain extension epoxide polymerization to well‐defined block polymers using a N‐Al Lewis pair catalyst

Block polyethers comprised of poly(propylene oxide) (PPO) and poly(ethylene oxide) (PEG or PEO) segments form the basis of ABA‐type PEO‐b‐PPO‐b‐PEO poloxamer materials. The inverse architecture with an internal hydrophilic PEO segment flanked by hydrophobic blocks can be difficult to prepare with control of architecture by use of traditional anionic polymerization. These oxyanionic polymerizations are plagued by chain‐transfer‐to‐monomer side reactions that occur with substituted epoxides such as propylene oxide (PO). Herein, we report a new method for the preparation of block polymers through a controlled polymerization involving a N‐Al Lewis adduct catalyst and an aluminum alkoxide macroinitiator. The Lewis pair catalyst was able to chain‐extend commercial PEO macroinitiators to prepare di‐, tri‐, and pentablock polyethers with low dispersity and reasonable monomer tolerance. Chain extension was confirmed using size exclusion chromatography and diffusion ordered nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy. The resulting block polymers were additionally analyzed with small‐angle X‐ray scattering to correlate the morphology to molecular architecture.

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Author(s) / Creator(s):
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Publisher / Repository:
Wiley Blackwell (John Wiley & Sons)
Date Published:
Journal Name:
Journal of Polymer Science
Medium: X Size: p. 2527-2538
["p. 2527-2538"]
Sponsoring Org:
National Science Foundation
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