Synthesis of methacrylate-terminated block copolymers with reduced transesterification by controlled ring-opening polymerization

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


  • Laura A. Ruiz-cantu
  • Laurence Burroughs
  • Thomas M. Bennett
  • Catherine E. Vasey
  • Ricky Wildman
  • Derek J. Irvine
  • Cameron Alexander
  • Vincenzo Taresco

Colleges, School and Institutes

External organisations

  • University of Nottingham


This work presents a robust method to achieve the synthesis of low molecular weight polyesters via ring‐opening polymerization (ROP) initiated by 2‐hydroxyethyl‐methacrylate (HEMA) when using triazabicyclodecene (TBD) as catalyst. The effect that the HEMA:TBD ratio has upon the final reaction rate and final polymer molecular architecture is discussed. The optimum HEMA:TBD ratio and reaction conditions required to minimize competing transesterification reactions are determined, in order to synthesize successfully the target ROP macromonomer species containing only a single 2‐methacryloyloxyethyl end‐group. Additionally, to confirm the terminal end‐group fidelity of the product macromonomers and confirm TBD utility for block copolymer manufacture, a small series of di‐block polyesters are synthesized using TBD and shown to exhibit good control over the final polymer structure whilst negating the side transesterification reactions, irrespective of the monomers used.


Original languageEnglish
Article number1800459
Number of pages11
JournalMacromolecular Chemistry and Physics
Issue number2
Early online date27 Nov 2018
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2019


  • hydroxyethyl‐methacrylate‐initiated, monofunctional‐methacrylate polyesters, ring‐opening polymerization, triazabicyclodecene catalyst