Polymerization of cyclic esters using N-heterocyclic carbene carboxylate catalysts

Emilie Brulé, Vincent Guérineau, Philippe Vermaut, Frédéric Prima, Janos Balogh, Laurent Maron, Alexandra M.Z. Slawin, Steven P. Nolan, Christophe M. Thomas

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32 Citations (Scopus)


The ring-opening polymerization of β-butyrolactone and lactide in solvent-free conditions and using NHC carboxylates as a (pre)catalyst is described. This class of catalysts enables the synthesis of aliphatic polyesters. These organocatalysts, which are easily synthesized, are remarkably robust, thus allowing the use of a bench-top reaction setup. In addition, NHC carboxylates are highly active in bulk conditions without the use of additives. Also, we have demonstrated for the first time that decarboxylation of NHC carboxylates depends on the nature of solvents under polymerization conditions.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2414-2423
Number of pages10
JournalPolymer Chemistry
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - 21 Apr 2013


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Bioengineering
  • Biochemistry
  • Polymers and Plastics
  • Organic Chemistry

Cite this

Brulé, E., Guérineau, V., Vermaut, P., Prima, F., Balogh, J., Maron, L., Slawin, A. M. Z., Nolan, S. P., & Thomas, C. M. (2013). Polymerization of cyclic esters using N-heterocyclic carbene carboxylate catalysts. Polymer Chemistry, 4(8), 2414-2423. https://doi.org/10.1039/c3py00108c