Office of Commercialization and Economic Development
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Stereocontrolled Vinyl Ether Polymerization for Accessing Functional Thermoplastic Materials

Technology #19-0009

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Researchers
Frank Leibfarth
Managed By
John Rainwater
Commercialization Manager 919.445.9371
Patent Protection
Provisional Patent Application Filed

A universal method for generating isotactic polyvinyl ethers (iso-PVEs) has been developed. While polyolefins offer excellent thermomechanical properties at low cost, their lack of polar functionality renders them unable to interface with other materials for high performance applications. Iso-PVEs are an intrinsically polar class of polymers that demonstrate plasticity and high tensile strength comparable to that of polyolefins, making them a promising functional thermoplastic alternative. However, achieving high isotacticity over a wide range of monomers via stereocontrolled vinyl ether polymerization has proven challenging. The present method for synthesizing iso-PVEs uses chiral BINOL-based phosphoric acid catalysis to achieve high levels of isotacticity with a variety of monomers. This method provides facile access to a new class of thermoplastics that unlocks applications currently unavailable with polyolefins.


Advantages:
·         iso-PVEs derived from inexpensive and underutilized feedstocks
·         Wide monomer substrate tolerability
·         Highest reported isotacticity to date (93% meso diads)
·         Over 21 times stronger adhesion to glass than a commercial polyolefin (DowTM LDPE)

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