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Keywords:

  • carbon dioxide;
  • combinatorial catalyst;
  • copolymerization;
  • rheology;
  • thermal properties

Abstract

Poly(ether carbonate)s (PPCs) with carbonate unit (CU) content ranging from 57.8 to 97.1% and number average molecular weight (Mn) around 100 kg/mol were conveniently prepared via copolymerization of CO2 and propylene oxide under combinatorial catalyst of rare earth ternary (RET) complex and double metal cyanide (DMC) complex. Enhancement of catalytic activity and reduction of propylene carbonate byproduct were realized due to synergetic effect of the two metal catalysts, where DMC can be activated in the presence of RET. Solubility fractionation confirmed that the obtained PPCs were copolymers, not physical blends of each polymer. Thermal performances of the PPCs were closely related to their CU content, their glass transition temperatures (Tg) were tunable in the range of 6.7–36.3 °C, which decreased with decreasing CU content, while their thermal stabilities were enhanced significantly, an increase of 50.5 °C in 50% weight loss temperature was observed when CU content decreased from 97.1 to 57.8%. Both shear storage modulus and complex viscosity increased with increasing CU content, which became more obvious at lower frequency, featuring well with the CU content in the PPCs. © 2011 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. J Polym Sci Part A: Polym Chem, 2012