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Pure Appl. Chem., 2012, Vol. 84, No. 10, pp. 2103-2111

Published online 2012-06-24

Rapid and controlled synthesis of hydrophobic polyethers by monomer activation

Matthieu Gervais, Anne-Laure Brocas, Alain Deffieux, Emmanuel Ibarboure and Stephane Carlotti*

Université de Bordeaux, Laboratoire de Chimie des Polymères Organiques, CNRS, ENSCPB, 16 avenue Pey Berland, 33607 Pessac Cedex, France

Abstract: A series of polyethers was prepared by monomer-activated anionic polymerization. The combination of an ammonium salt with triisobutylaluminum allowed the polymerization of epoxides containing various aliphatic side chains (1,2-butene oxide (BO), 1,2-hexene oxide (HO), and 1,2-octadecene oxide (ODO)) or a fluorinated group (3,3,3-trifluoro-1,2-epoxypropane (TFEP)). Polymers of molar masses up to 35 000 g/mol with relatively narrow molar mass distribution could be synthesized. Polymer structures were analyzed by 13C NMR, and the thermal behavior was studied by differential scanning calorimetry (DSC). The evolution of hydrophobicity was investigated according to the length and composition of the side chain. Using a long aliphatic side-chain epoxide (C16) imparted crystallinity to the resulting atactic polymer.