Stereochemical Aspects of the Polymerization of Cis and Trans Thiiranes Using Chiral Initiators

  • Nicolas Spassky
  • Ardéchir Momtaz
  • Pierre Sigwalt
Part of the Polymer Science and Technology book series (POLS, volume 19)


Stereochemical rules and kinetic behavior of the resolution reaction were established in the caso of ring-opening polymerization of monosubstituted cyclic monomers using chiral initiators.

The use of the same initiators is now applied to disubstituted monomers.

Trans dimethylthiirane, a racemic monomer, mixture of two stereoisomers bearing two asymmetric carbons of identical configuration, give by polymerization optically inactive composed of -RS- units. This confirms the complete inversion of the attached assymetric carbon during ring-opening as established previously by Vandenberg. Polymers obtained are crystalline and of high molecular weight. Unusual kinetics were observed for the resolution reaction in which the sign of the unreacted monomer changed at a definite conversion.

The polymerization of cis dimethylthiirane, and achiral monomer of meso configuration, produces optically active polymers. This result shows that the initiator is able to recognize the donfiguration of an asymmetric carbon in a molecule and to direct an attack on a preferential side in agreement with a homochirality rule. The enantiomeric distribution in the polymer chain, i. e. the proportion of -RR- and -SS- type configurational units, was established by NMR and from cationic degradation studies. The formation of disulfide linkages in substantial amounts was observed with some of the initiator systems used. However, the polymers are generally crystalline and their melting points are different from those of optically inactive polymers prepared with a chiral initiators.


Cotton Effect Initiator System Disulfide Linkage Rotatory Power Configurational Unit 
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Copyright information

© Plenum Press, New York 1983

Authors and Affiliations

  • Nicolas Spassky
    • 1
  • Ardéchir Momtaz
    • 1
  • Pierre Sigwalt
    • 1
  1. 1.Laboratoire de Chimie MacromoléculaireLA 24 Université Pierre et Marie Curie 4Paris Cédex 05France

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