This paper reports the first synthesis of A 2 + B 3 highly branched polyesters with the minimal formation of cyclics in the absence of a polymerization solvent. Highly branched poly(ether ester)s were synthesized in the melt phase using an oligomeric A 2 + B 3 polymerization strategy. Condensation of poly(propylene glycol) (M n ∼1060 g/mol) and trimethyl 1,3,5-benzenetricarboxylate in the presence of titanium tetraisopropoxide generated highly branched structures with high molar mass when the reaction was stopped immediately prior to the gel point. Size exclusion chromatography (SEC) and 1H NMR spectroscopy were used to monitor molar mass as a function of monomer conversion and to determine the gel point. Monomer conversions at both the theoretical and experimental gel points for an A 2.B 3 = 1:1 molar ratio agreed well. Thus, cyclization reactions, which are common in A 2 + B 3 polymerization in solution, were negligible in the melt phase. The degree of branching (DB) increased with an increase in monomer conversion and molar mass, and the final product contained 20% dendritic units. Monofunctional end-capping reagents were also used to avoid gelation in the melt phase, and high molar mass final products were obtained with nearly quantitative monomer conversion in the absence of gelation. The presence of a monofunctional comonomer did not affect the molar mass increase or the formation of branched structures due to desirable ester interchange reactions.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Materials Chemistry