Title

Kinetics and mechanism of the stannous octoate-catalyzed bulk polymerization of epsilon-caprolactone

Document Type

Article

Publication Date

2-26-2002

Department

Polymers and High Performance Materials

Abstract

Bulk polymerizations of epsilon-caprolactone (CL) were conducted at 130 degreesC, in which the structure and amount of initiator were varied. Polymerization induction periods were observed and attributed to slow heat transfer and to the type of alcohol used as initiator. Induction periods persisted until virtually complete consumption of both ethylene glycol (EG) and 1,3-propanediol (PD). I-Butanol displayed no detectable induction. H-1 NAIR suggested that induction was a result of strong and unique interactions between the diols and stannous octoate, which lead to the formation of more stable, less reactive stannous alkoxides compared to stannous alkoxides derived from the polymer chain end. Only after virtually all free diol was consumed did chain propagation commence at the normal rate. The rate of polymerization was insensitive to the [CL]/[EG] ratios chosen for this study. The results were consistent with a mechanism in which stannous alkoxide initiator is formed in situ via reaction between stannous octoate and alcohol, and stannous alkoxide chain ends are the actively propagating species.

Publication Title

MACROMOLECULES

Volume

35

Issue

5

First Page

1504

Last Page

1512