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Room‐Temperature Ring‐Opening Polymerization of δ‐Valerolactone and ϵ‐Caprolactone Caused by Uptake into Porous Pillar[5]arene Crystals

Immersion of porous phenolic pillar[5]arene crystals in liquid lactones induced ring-opening polymerization of δ-valerolactone and ϵ-caprolactone at room temperature. This is due to catalytic activity of the phenols via the hydrogen bonds and capture of linear polyesters by pillar[5]arene crystals. After the reaction, pillar[5]arene and polyesters formed pseudo-polyrotaxanes.


Abstract

Confined space provides a reaction platform with altered reaction rate and selectivity compared with a homogeneous solution. In this work, porous phenolic pillar[5]arene crystals were used as a reaction space to promote and perturb equilibrium between lactones and their corresponding polyesters. Immersion of porous pillar[5]arene crystals in liquid lactones induced ring-opening polymerization of δ-valerolactone and ϵ-caprolactone at room temperature because the phenolic hydroxy groups have catalytic activity via hydrogen bonds and the pillar[5]arene cavities prefer linear guests. After the reaction, pillar[5]arene and polyesters formed pseudo-polyrotaxanes.

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