[en] A straightforward strategy is proposed for the derivatization of poly(epsilon-caprolactone) (PCL). First, statistical copolymerization of alpha-chloro-epsilon-caprolactone (alpha-Cl-epsilon-CL) with epsilon-caprolactone (epsilon-CL) was initiated by 2,2-dibutyl-2-stanna-1,3-dioxepane (DSDOP). In a second step, pendent chlorides were converted into azides by reaction with sodium azide. Finally, duly substituted terminal alkynes were reacted with pendent azides by copper-catalyzed Huisgen's 1,3-dipolar cycloaddition, thus a "click" reaction. According to this strategy, pendent hydroxyl and acrylate groups and atom transfer radical polymerization (ATRP) initiators were successfully attached to PCL. Similarly, amphiphilic graft copolymers were prepared by cycloaddition of an alkyne end-capped poly(ethylene oxide) (PEO) onto the azide substituents of the copolyester. The dependence of the grafting yield on the experimental conditions of the "click" reaction, i.e., temperature, solvent, and catalyst, was investigated. This strategy is very versatile because a large variety of aliphatic polyesters can be easily synthesized from a single precursor, easily prepared from commercially available compounds, merely by changing the alkyne involved in the Huisgen's 1,3-dipolar cycloaddition. Last but not least, PCL subsituted by azide groups does not have to be isolated after substitution of chlorides by sodium azide, and the "click" reaction can be carried out in a "one-pot" process.
Center for Education and Research on Macromolecules (CERM)
Politique Scientifique Fédérale (Belgique) = Belgian Federal Science Policy ; Fonds de la Recherche Scientifique (Communauté française de Belgique) - F.R.S.-FNRS ; Fonds pour la formation à la Recherche dans l'Industrie et dans l'Agriculture (Communauté française de Belgique) - FRIA