44 - Streamlining the Synthesis of Macrocyclic Polymers
As is the case in all areas of organic chemistry, the simplification of any synthetic process is a goal of chemists in order to obtain the product as easily and efficiently as possible. It is of special interest to polymer chemists to be able to make cyclic polymers in high yields under lenient conditions, as achieving this specific polymeric architecture is generally a tedious process. Cyclic polymers may be useful in areas such as light harvesting as a result of an enhanced ability to transfer energy between adjacent groups on the polymer and also in drug delivery owing to increased circulation time in the body. These polymers could also potentially have commercial applications. In order to make macrocyclic polymers, typically, linear polymers are synthesized, isolated, end-functionalized, and then finally employed in a cyclization reaction. Our research group has worked to eliminate the purification steps that would have previously removed any excess monomer, catalyst, and ligand, thus conserving time and materials.