• biodegradable;
  • copolymerization;
  • poly(ethylene-co-1,6-hexene terephthalate);
  • poly(L-lactic acid);
  • synthesis


A series of aliphatic–aromatic multiblock copolyesters consisting of poly(ethylene-co-1,6-hexene terephthalate) (PEHT) and poly(L-lactic acid) (PLLA) were synthesized successfully by chain-extension reaction of dihydroxyl terminated PEHT-OH prepolymer and dihydroxyl terminated PLLA-OH prepolymer using toluene-2,4-diisoyanate as a chain extender. PEHT-OH prepolymers were prepared by two step reactions using dimethyl terephthalate, ethylene glycol, and 1,6-hexanediol as raw materials. PLLA-OH prepolymers were prepared by direct polycondensation of L-lactic acid in the presence of 1,4-butanediol. The chemical structures, the molecular weights and the thermal properties of PEHT-OH, PLLA-OH prepolymers, and PEHT-PLLA copolymers were characterized by FTIR, 1H NMR, GPC, TG, and DSC. This synthetic method has been proved to be very efficient for the synthesis of high-molecular-weight copolyesters (say, higher than Mw = 3 × 105 g/mol). Only one glass transition temperature was found in the DSC curves of PEHT-PLLA copolymers, indicating that the PLLA and PEHT segments had good miscibility. TG curves showed that all the copolyesters had good thermal stabilities. The resulting novel aromatic–aliphatic copolyesters are expected to find a potential application in the area of biodegradable polymer materials. © 2009 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. J Polym Sci Part A: Polym Chem 47: 5898–5907, 2009