DOI: 10.1002/ange.202400235 ISSN: 0044-8249

Designing Degradable Polymers from Tricycloalkenes via Complete Cascade Metathesis Polymerization

Yongkang Yang, Yunhyeong Cho, Tae-Lim Choi
  • General Medicine

Cascade metathesis polymerization has been developed as a promising method to synthesize complex but well‐defined polymers from monomers containing multiple reactive functional groups. However, this approach has been limited to the monomers involving simple alkene/alkyne moieties or produced mainly non‐degradable polymers. In this study, we demonstrate a complete cascade ring‐opening/ring‐closing metathesis polymerization (RORCMP) using various tricycloalkenes and two strategies for the efficient degradation. Through rational design of tricycloalkene monomers, the structure and reactivity relationship was explored. For example, tricycloalkenes with trans configuration in the central ring enabled faster and better selective cascade RORCMP than the corresponding cis isomers. Also, a 4‐substituted cyclopentene moiety in the monomers significantly enhanced the overall cascade RORCMP performance, with the maximum turnover number (TON) reaching almost 10,000 and molecular weight up to 170 kg/mol using an amide‐containing monomer. Furthermore, we achieved one‐shot cascade multiple olefin metathesis polymerization using tricycloalkenes and a diacrylate, to produce new highly A,B‐alternating copolymers with full degradability. Lastly, we successfully designed xylose‐based tricycloalkenes to give well‐defined polymers that underwent ultra‐fast and complete degradation under mild conditions.

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