Cocrystallization of random copolymers of omega-pentadecalactone and epsilon-caprolactone synthesized by lipase catalysis.Biomacromolecules 2005 Mar-Apr; 6(2):902-7B
Random copolymers were prepared by Candida antarctica lipase B (Novozyme-435) catalyzed copolymerization of omega-pentadecalactone (PDL) with epsilon-caprolactone (CL). Over the whole composition range PDL-CL copolymers are highly crystalline (melting enthalpy by differential scanning calorimetry, above 100 J/g; crystallinity degree by wide-angle X-ray scattering, WAXS, 60-70%). The copolymers melt at temperatures that linearly decrease with composition from that of poly(omega-pentadecalactone) (PPDL; 97 degrees C) to that of poly(epsilon-caprolactone) (PCL; 59 degrees C). The WAXS profiles of PCL and PPDL homopolymers are very similar, except for the presence in PPDL of the (001) reflection at 2theta = 4.58 degrees that corresponds to a 19.3 angstroms periodicity in the chain direction. In PDL-CL copolymers the intensity of this reflection decreases with increasing content of CL units and vanishes at 50 mol % CL, as a result of randomization of the ester group alignment and loss of chain periodicity. PDL-CL copolymers crystallize in a lattice that gradually changes from that of one homopolymer to that of the other, owing to comonomer isomorphous substitution. Cocrystallization of comonomer units is also shown by a random PDL-CL copolymer obtained in a polymerization/transesterification reaction catalyzed by C. antarctica lipase B (Novozyme-435) starting from preformed PCL and PDL monomer.