DATE 06.01.2015publications

Synthesis of Polyurethanes Using Organocatalysis: A Perspective

Organocatalysis has become an invaluable tool for polymer synthesis, and its utility has been demonstrated in ring-opening, anionic, zwitterionic, and group-transfer polymerizations. Despite this, the use of organocatalysis in other polymerization reactions such as step-growth polymerizations remains underexplored, relative to more traditional metal-based polymerizations. Recently, the use of organic bases such as guanidines, amidines, N-heterocyclic carbenes, and organic “strong or super-strong” Brønsted acids to catalyze the synthesis of metal-free polyurethanes has shown to be competitive to commercially widely used dibutyltin dilaurate and dibutyltin diacetate catalysts. This Perspective article highlights recent advances in organocatalyst design for isocyanate-based polyurethane synthesis with the aim of comparing the activity and selectivity of each of the new catalytic reactions to each other and the traditional metal-based catalysts. The article also draws attention to new trends in isocyanate-free polyurethane synthesis and the key role that organocatalysis is playing in these innovative polymerization processes.




This project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under the Marie Skłodowska-Curie grant agreement 642671