Mechanism of the anionic ring-opening oligomerization of propylene carbonate initiated by the tert-butylphenol/KHCO3 system

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The ring-opening oligomerization reaction of propylene carbonate in the presence of the tert-butylphenol/KHCO3 initiating system was studied by means of Matrix-Assisted Laser Desorption/Ionization Time of Flight Mass Spectrometry (MALDI-TOF MS) and Electrospray Ionization Time of Flight Mass Spectrometry (ESI-TOF MS). According to the MS spectra obtained, different series of peaks were identified. The MS spectra clearly showed that besides the chain-extension reaction yielding oligomers with all propylene oxide units, the formation of oligomers containing carbonate linkages in the chain, and condensation reaction between the latter two also took place. The structure of the oligomers carrying carbonate linkages was determined by the post-source decay (PSD) MALDI-TOF MS/MS method. Based on the MS results, a mechanism for the oligomerization reaction is proposed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)141-150
Number of pages10
JournalMacromolecular Symposia
Publication statusPublished - Aug 1 2004



  • Oligomers
  • Polyethers
  • Ring-opening polymerization
  • Separation of polymers

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Organic Chemistry
  • Polymers and Plastics
  • Materials Chemistry

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