Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Sorted Building Blocks

18.03.2011
Poly(propylene carbonate) stereogradient

The properties of polymers—long chain molecules from which plastics are made—depend on the type of individual building blocks in them, as well as the order they are in and how they are arranged in space.

Although the order of the components can easily be controlled, control of their spatial arrangement, called stereochemistry, remains one of the biggest challenges in polymer chemistry. Kyoko Nozaki and a team from the University of Tokyo report in the journal Angewandte Chemie that they have made the first poly(propylene carbonate) with polymer chains built up in the form of a gradient of two stereochemically different propylene building blocks.

Poly(propylene carbonate) is used as a binding agent and as a component of biodegradable plastics. It is made from propylene oxide and carbon dioxide in a catalytic process. Propylene oxide contains three carbon atoms, two of which form a ring together with an oxygen atom. This ring opens during polymerization. Propylene oxide exists in two forms that are mirror images of each other; these are designated as the S and R stereoisomers.

Poly(propylene carbonate)s that are made primarily of one of the two forms or have both forms in an alternating pattern have been made before. Nozaki’s group has now been the first to synthesize both a stereoblock and a stereogradient. A stereoblock copolymer is a chain, half of which is made of the S form and the other half of the R form. In a stereogradient copolymer, the composition changes gradually from the S form to the R form.

Making a block copolymer is theoretically relatively easy because use of an asymmetric catalyst causes one of the two forms of building block to be used preferentially, so it is built into the polymer chains first; the less favorable form is incorporated afterward. In the case of poly(propylene carbonate), however, this process isn’t so trivial because once the favored form of the propylene oxide is converted to a polymer, the other form decomposes instead of polymerizing. The Japanese scientists found a special asymmetrical cobalt complex that allows nearly complete conversion to the polymer. Although the catalyst prefers the S form, it also ensures that it is more favorable for the R form to polymerize than to decompose.

The researchers experimented further with variations on the cobalt complex. A special ammonium side branch on a ligand brought success: It balances the degree of preference of the catalyst for the S form over the R form so that the R form begins to be incorporated into the polymer chain as the amount of the S form decreases. This allows the formation of the stereogradient copolymer. Interestingly, both of the new types of poly(propylene carbonate), stereoblock and stereogradient, are significantly more heat-tolerant than pure S or R polymers or mixtures of the two.

Author: Kyoko Nozaki, University of Tokyo (Japan), http://park.itc.u-tokyo.ac.jp/nozakilab/indexE.html

Title: Synthesis of Stereogradient Poly(propylene carbonate) by Stereo- and Enantioselective Copolymerization of Propylene Oxide with Carbon Dioxide

Angewandte Chemie International Edition, Permalink to the article: http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/anie.201007958

Kyoko Nozaki | Angewandte Chemie
Further information:
http://park.itc.u-tokyo.ac.jp/nozakilab/indexE.html
http://pressroom.angewandte.org

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht When Air is in Short Supply - Shedding light on plant stress reactions when oxygen runs short
23.03.2017 | Institut für Pflanzenbiochemie

nachricht WPI team grows heart tissue on spinach leaves
23.03.2017 | Worcester Polytechnic Institute

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Giant Magnetic Fields in the Universe

Astronomers from Bonn and Tautenburg in Thuringia (Germany) used the 100-m radio telescope at Effelsberg to observe several galaxy clusters. At the edges of these large accumulations of dark matter, stellar systems (galaxies), hot gas, and charged particles, they found magnetic fields that are exceptionally ordered over distances of many million light years. This makes them the most extended magnetic fields in the universe known so far.

The results will be published on March 22 in the journal „Astronomy & Astrophysics“.

Galaxy clusters are the largest gravitationally bound structures in the universe. With a typical extent of about 10 million light years, i.e. 100 times the...

Im Focus: Tracing down linear ubiquitination

Researchers at the Goethe University Frankfurt, together with partners from the University of Tübingen in Germany and Queen Mary University as well as Francis Crick Institute from London (UK) have developed a novel technology to decipher the secret ubiquitin code.

Ubiquitin is a small protein that can be linked to other cellular proteins, thereby controlling and modulating their functions. The attachment occurs in many...

Im Focus: Perovskite edges can be tuned for optoelectronic performance

Layered 2D material improves efficiency for solar cells and LEDs

In the eternal search for next generation high-efficiency solar cells and LEDs, scientists at Los Alamos National Laboratory and their partners are creating...

Im Focus: Polymer-coated silicon nanosheets as alternative to graphene: A perfect team for nanoelectronics

Silicon nanosheets are thin, two-dimensional layers with exceptional optoelectronic properties very similar to those of graphene. Albeit, the nanosheets are less stable. Now researchers at the Technical University of Munich (TUM) have, for the first time ever, produced a composite material combining silicon nanosheets and a polymer that is both UV-resistant and easy to process. This brings the scientists a significant step closer to industrial applications like flexible displays and photosensors.

Silicon nanosheets are thin, two-dimensional layers with exceptional optoelectronic properties very similar to those of graphene. Albeit, the nanosheets are...

Im Focus: Researchers Imitate Molecular Crowding in Cells

Enzymes behave differently in a test tube compared with the molecular scrum of a living cell. Chemists from the University of Basel have now been able to simulate these confined natural conditions in artificial vesicles for the first time. As reported in the academic journal Small, the results are offering better insight into the development of nanoreactors and artificial organelles.

Enzymes behave differently in a test tube compared with the molecular scrum of a living cell. Chemists from the University of Basel have now been able to...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

International Land Use Symposium ILUS 2017: Call for Abstracts and Registration open

20.03.2017 | Event News

CONNECT 2017: International congress on connective tissue

14.03.2017 | Event News

ICTM Conference: Turbine Construction between Big Data and Additive Manufacturing

07.03.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

When Air is in Short Supply - Shedding light on plant stress reactions when oxygen runs short

23.03.2017 | Life Sciences

Researchers use light to remotely control curvature of plastics

23.03.2017 | Power and Electrical Engineering

Sea ice extent sinks to record lows at both poles

23.03.2017 | Earth Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>