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Abstract

The ring-opening polymerizations of cyclooctene, cyclododecene, 1,5-cyclooctadiene, 1,5,9-cyclododecatriene, 3-methylcyclooctene, and 3-phenylcyclooctene have been carried out by using a two-component catalyst system composed of ethylaluminum dichloride and tungsten hexachloride. NMR and infrared analyses of the respective polymers indicate structures which are consistent with a ring-cleavage mode of propagation. No evidence for double-bond shifts or transannular reactions during the polymerizations of 1,5-cyclooctadiene, 1,5,9-cyclododecatriene, 3-methylcyclooctene, and 3-phenylcyclooctene was found. The polymerizability of substituted, unsaturated, mediumsized alicyclic monomers suggests a convenient method for synthesis of certain perfectly alternating terpolymers. Since polymerizations occurred rapidly with little evolution of heat, it was concluded that entropy is a substantial contributor to the free energy of the ring-opening polymerization of medium-sized, unsaturated alicyclic monomers.