Recently we reported a series of highly active Al(III)-complexes bearing a catalen ligand support for lactide polymerisation, observing unprecedented activity in the melt.35 Herein we report diversification of the metal to furnish a series of well-defined dimeric Zn(II)- and Mg(II)-complexes, which were fully characterised by X-ray crystallography and NMR spectroscopy. The production of biocompatible atactic PLA from rac-LA in solution and under industrially preferred solvent-free conditions was demonstrated, typically observing good activity and Mn control with a broad range of dispersities (Đ = 1.08 – 2.04). Mg(II)-complexes were shown to facilitate the relatively mild methanolysis of PLA, achieving up to 64% conversion to Me-LA within 8 h at 80 °C in THF. Further kinetic analysis found [Mg(1,3)]2 to have kapp values of 0.628 ± 0.0536 {4 wt% cat. loading} and 0.265 ± 0.0193 h-1 {8 wt% cat. loading} respectively for the rate of consumption of PLA. Preliminary work extended polymer scope to PET from various sources, demonstrating catalyst versatility.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1086-1096
Number of pages11
JournalPolymer Chemistry
Issue number8
Early online date13 Jan 2021
Publication statusPublished - 28 Feb 2021

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Bioengineering
  • Biochemistry
  • Polymers and Plastics
  • Organic Chemistry


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