• degradation;
  • FTIR;
  • kinetics;
  • poly(glycidol);
  • thermogravimetric analysis


Thumbnail image of graphical abstract

Three polymers of pharmaceutical/medical relevance are synthesized: poly(glycidol) (PG), poly(glycidol)-g-L-lactide (PG-g-La), and poly(glycidol)-g-glycolide (PG-g-Gly). Because the thermal stability of these polymers is an essential factor of their processing and practical application, the study focuses on kinetic and mechanistic aspects of non-oxidative thermal degradation. The study is conducted by combining thermogravimetry, Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy, and isoconversional kinetic analysis. It is found that PG degrades in a single mass loss step, whereas, PG-g-La and PG-g-Gly in two. It is demonstrated that the first step in degradation of PG-g-La and PG-g-Gly is associated with decomposition of the pendant groups and the second is due to degradation of the PG backbone.