Published: February 27th, 2017
We describe the catalytic insertion polymerization of 5-norbornene-2-carboxylic acid and 5-vinyl-2-norbornene to form functional polymers with a very high glass transition temperature.
Norbornene can be polymerized by a variety of mechanisms, including insertion polymerization whereby the double bond is polymerized and the bicyclic nature of the monomer is conserved. The resulting polymer, polynorbornene, has a very high glass transition temperature, Tg, and interesting optical and electrical properties. However, the polymerization of functional norbornenes by this mechanism is complicated by the fact that the endo substituted norbornene monomer has, in general, a very low reactivity. Furthermore, the separation of the endo substituted monomer from the exo monomer is a tedious task. Here, we present a simple protocol for the polymerization of substituted norbornenes (endo:exo ca. 80:20) bearing either a carboxylic acid or a pendant double bond. The process does not require that both isomers be separated, and proceeds with low catalyst loadings (0.01 to 0.02 mol%). The polymer bearing pendant double bonds can be further transformed in high yield, to afford a polymer bearing pendant epoxy groups. These simple procedures can be applied to prepare polynorbornenes with a variety of functional groups, such as esters, alcohols, imides, double bonds, carboxylic acids, bromo-alkyls, aldehydes and anhydrides.
Norbornene, NBE, the Diels-Alder adduct of ethylene and cyclopentadiene (obtained by "cracking" of dicyclopentadiene (DCPD)), is readily polymerized using either free-radical polymerization,1 cationic polymerization,2 ring-opening metathesis polymerization3 and catalytic insertion polymerization.4,5,6,7 Unlike the other mechanisms, the catalytic insertion polymerization leads to the formation of a very high glass-transition temperature (Tg) polymer whe....
1. Preparation of Poly(5-norbornene-2-carboxylic acid), PNBE(CO2H)
The NBE monomers are prepared by simple Diels-Alder reaction of DCPD and a suitable dienophile, for example acrylic acid (AA). Normally, DCPD is cracked to yield cyclopentadiene (CPD) before reaction.17 Freshly cracked CPD is then engaged in the Diels-Alder reaction. However, in this protocol, both cracking and Diels-Alder steps are performed concomitantly, in a one-pot reaction. Thus, as soon as CPD is formed, it reacts with AA to yield 5-norbornene-2-carboxylic a.......
The method proposed here is simple, and readily amenable to scale-up. All chemicals could be used as received without any purification. Note that performing the reaction at a lower scale (e.g. scales ≤1 g) usually yields lower yields due to an unavoidable loss of material during the handling and the collection.
The catalysts are formed in situ upon the reaction of commercial Pd compounds with cationizing agents. In our hands, the yield of the reaction as well as the cha.......
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