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Dr. Yuetao Zhang and Prof. Dr. Eugene Y.-X. Chen Conjugate-Addition Organopolymerization: Rapid Production of Acrylic Bioplastics by N-Heterocyclic Carbenes Angewandte Chemie International Edition 51

Version of Record online: 23 JAN 2012 | DOI: 10.1002/anie.201108019

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It's rapid and selective: In contrast to the dimerization of α,β-unsaturated esters (acrylics) by carbene 3, the more nucleophilic carbene 2 selectively forms the single-addition product, and 1, the most nucleophilic carbene of the series, polymerizes acrylics. The biomass-derived methylene butyrolactones are quantitatively polymerized to produce medium- to high-molecular-weight bioplastics in less than one minute at ambient temperature. Mes=2,4,6-trimethylphenyl, TOF=turnover frequency.

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