Molecular weight distribution in living polymerization proceeding with reshuffling
of polymer segments due to chain transfer to polymer with chain scission.
Part IV. Systems with cyclization
Polimery 2003, No 11-12, 758
Continuing a series of modeling studies of the influence of reshuffling of polymer segments on the polydispersity index (PDI), the additional effect of cyclization was analyzed by means of Monte Carlo simulations. It was shown that the contribution of cyclization in overall reshuffling process can be important only in polymerization systems with high equilibrium concentrations of cyclic oligomers (e.g. polymerizations at low initial monomer concentration of ε-caprolactone or ε-caprolactone dimer). Cyclization contribution can easily be obseryed in ring opening polymerization of composite monomers (built of two or more repeating units), as for instance dilactide and dimer of ε-caprolactone. By comparing the observed frequency distributions of even and odd lactide oligomers in polymerization of dilactide with results of simulations it was possible to estimate the contribution of this type of reshuffling (kc3/ktr = 1.07. 10-3 mol/L). However, if overall polydispersity index is concerned, this contribution is as small as in majority of polymerization systems. A phenomenon of kinetic enhancement of larger cycles, not described previously for systems without end-to-end intramacromolecular reaction, was observed in the simulations.
Keywords: living polymerization, chain transfer, Monte Carlo simulation, cyclic ester, kinetics of polymerization