Journal of the American Chemical Society, Vol.135, No.50, 18738-18741, 2013
Zwitterionic Polymerization to Generate High Molecular Weight Cyclic Poly(Carbosiloxane)s
The zwitterionic ring-opening of 2,2,5,5-tetramethyl-2,5-disila-1-oxacyclopentane (TMOSC) with N-heterocyclic carbenes generates high molecular weight cyclic p(TMOSC). The NHC-mediated polymerization of TMOSC with 1,3-bis(2,4,6-trimethylphenyl)imidazol-2-ylidene (IMes, 1) generates the poly(carbosiloxane) p(TMOSC) with molecular weights from 27 000 < M-n < 80 000 Da (1.4 < M-w/M-n < 2.2) within 30 mm at room temp. With the more nucleophilic carbene 1,3,4,5-tetramethyl-imidazol-2-ylidene (4), the ring-opening polymerization occurs within minutes at room temperature to generate cyclic p(TMOSC) with molecular weights up to M-n = 940 000 Da (M-w/M-n = 3.2). The resulting p(TMOSC)s are predominantly cyclic as evidenced by dilute solution viscosity studies and MALDI-TOF MS. DFT calculations provide support for both zwitterionic and neutral, cyclic intermediates.