Prof. Hartwig Höcker and Dr. Helmut Keul
Ring-opening polymerization (ROP) of cyclic monomers is most suitable for the preparation of sequential copolymers of the type (AAB)n, the sequence being determined by the structure of the monomer. The thermodynamics and mechanisms of ROP are reviewed, including radical, cationic, anionic, and metathetical ROP, with may examples being given. As recycling becomes more important, interest in reversible polymerization, i.e., depolymerization, is increasing. The results available so far on the depolymerization of polymers obtained by ROP are discussed.