Alkali-Metal Monophenolates with a Sandwich-Type Catalytic Center as Catalysts for Highly Isoselective Polymerization of rac-Lactide

Highly isoselective ring-opening polymerization (ROP) of rac-lactide is a challenge for sodium and potassium complexes under mild conditions. In this work, three sodium and potassium complexes with a sandwich-type catalytic center are highly active catalysts for the polymerization of rac-lactide and show high isoselectivities with Pm values of 0.72–0.82. The best isoselectivity of Pm = 0.82 is the highest value for alkali-metal complexes under mild conditions. The molecular weights of the obtained PLA are close to the theoretical values, and the molecular weight distributions are narrow.