The ring-opening polymerization of D,L-lactide in the melt initiated with tetraphenyltin

F.E. Kohn, J.W.A. van den Berg, G. van de Ridder, Jan Feijen

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Melt polymerization conditions for D,L-lactide initiated with tetraphenyltin were studied with regard to polymer molecular weight and weight distributions. "Single" polymerization, "multiple"polymerization (four or eight reactions at the same time), and time-dependent studies are described. Single polymerizations using constant initiator concentrations resulted in a broad scattering of nonreproducible molecular weight values. Multiple polymerizations at constant initiator concentrations, however, resulted in nearly identical molecular weight profiles. Multiple polymerizations at different initiator concentrations did not show an inverse dependency of initiator concentration on polymer molecular weight. Both the single and multiple melt polymerizations resulted in rather broad molecular weight distributions. The presence of hydrolysis products of lactide during the melt polymerization most likely has a detrimental effect on molecular weight. After a short induction period the rather slow polymerization of D,L-lactide resulted in a maximal molecular weight followed by a slight decrease in molecular weight to a constant value. It is concluded that the polymerization of D,L-lactide in the melt initiated with tetraphenyltin does not proceed through a "living" mechanism.
Original languageUndefined
Pages (from-to)4265-4277
JournalJournal of applied polymer science
Issue number12
Publication statusPublished - 1984


  • IR-70795

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