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End Capping Ring-Opening Olefin Metathesis Polymerization Polymers with Vinyl Lactones

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journal contribution
posted on 2008-08-20, 00:00 authored by Stefan Hilf, Robert H. Grubbs, Andreas F. M. Kilbinger
The selective placement of a functional group at the chain end of a ring-opening metathesis polymer using ruthenium carbene initiators has been a significant limitation. Here we demonstrate a highly effective and facile end-capping technique for ROMP with living ruthenium carbene chain ends using single-turnover olefin metathesis substrates. Vinylene carbonate and 3H-furanone are introduced as functionalization and termination agents for the ruthenium-initiated ring-opening metathesis polymerization. This leads directly to the formation of functional polymer end groups without further chemical transformation steps. Aldehyde and carboxylic acid end groups can be introduced by this new method which involves the decomposition of acyl carbenes to ruthenium carbides. The high degrees of chain-end functionality obtained are supported by 1H NMR spectroscopy, MALDI-ToF mass spectrometry, and end-group derivatization.