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Imidazolium ionic liquids with short polyoxyethylene chains

Authors

  • Tadeusz Biedroń,

    1. Center of Molecular and Macromolecular Studies, Polish Academy of Sciences, Sienkiewicza 112, 90-363 Lodz, Poland
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  • Przemysław Kubisa

    Corresponding author
    1. Center of Molecular and Macromolecular Studies, Polish Academy of Sciences, Sienkiewicza 112, 90-363 Lodz, Poland
    • Center of Molecular and Macromolecular Studies, Polish Academy of Sciences, Sienkiewicza 112, 90-363 Lodz, Poland
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Abstract

It has been observed by us earlier that imidazolium ionic liquids ([bmim][BF4] react with paraformaldehyde giving in nearly quantitative yield imidazolium ionic liquids substituted at 2-position with hydroxymethyl group ([bhmim][BF4]). In this article, we describe the application of those ionic liquids (after converting hydroxyl group into alkoxide anion by reaction with sodium hydride) as initiators for anionic polymerization of ethylene oxide (EO). Up to DPn ∼ 30 polymerization proceeds without side reactions, and the product is exclusively low-molecular-weight polyoxyethylene containing imidazolium head group (POE-IL) with DPn equal to [EO]/[bhmim] ratio. By increasing [EO]/[bhmim] ratio further, side reaction start to interfere, and macromolecules that does not contain imidazolium head groups are also formed, as evidenced by analysis of MALDI TOF spectra. Blending of POE-IL with high-molecular-weight POE leads to significant reduction of crystallinity of POE. © 2008 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. J Polym Sci Part A: Polym Chem 46: 6961–6968, 2008

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