Renewable-resource thermoplastic elastomers based on polylactide and polymenthide

Carolyn L. Wanamaker, Leslie E. O'Leary, Nathaniel A. Lynd, Marc A. Hillmeyer, William B. Tolman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

122 Scopus citations

Abstract

An α,ω-functionalized polymenthide was synthesized by the ring-opening polymerization of menthide in the presence of diethylene glycol with diethyl zinc as the catalyst. Termination with water afforded the dihydroxy polymenthide. The reaction of this telechelic polymer with triethylaluminum formed the corresponding aluminum alkoxide macroinitiator that was used for the controlled polymerization of lactide to yield biorenewable polylactide- b-polymenthide-b-polylactide triblock copolymers. The molecular weight and chemical composition were easily adjusted by the monomer-to-initiator ratios. Microphase separation in these triblock copolymers was confirmed by small-angle X-ray scattering and differential scanning calorimetry. A representative triblock was prepared with a hexagonally packed cylindrical morphology as determined by small-angle X-ray scattering, and tensile testing was employed to assess the mechanical behavior. On the basis of the ultimate elongations and elastic recovery, these triblock copolymers behaved as thermoplastic elastomers.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)3634-3640
Number of pages7
JournalBiomacromolecules
Volume8
Issue number11
DOIs
StatePublished - Nov 1 2007

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