Challenge: Polydicyclopentadiene, poly(DCPD), a polyolefinic, cross-linked, thermoset material exhibits outstanding thermal stability, mechanical strength, fracture toughness, and dielectric characteristics. Thanks to these properties poly(DCPD) has become a very attractive polymer for numerous applications and remains one of the most ubiquitous ROMP materials in industrial uses.
The most effective catalysts for DCPD polymerization should exhibit optimal ROMP kinetics and should allow facile handling of the monomer/catalyst formulation. Limitations of currently used ruthenium catalyst relate to the difficult initiation control and poor solubility in neat monomer (requires solvents for solubilization). Both aspects can compromise the physical properties of the resulting polymer.
Apeiron’s Solution: Apeiron chemists have developed a versatile set of ROMP catalysts, soluble in DCPD monomer, that provide precise control of ROMP initiation with thermal or chemical triggers. 20 ppm of HeatMet (AS2055) initiates the reaction at temperatures above 60oC to afford quantitative yields of poly(DCPD). LatMet (AS2035) is a latent catalyst that remains dormant in DCPD until its activation with hydrochloric acid, whereupon it affords full conversion within just 10 minutes. Mechanical properties of the resulting materials are in accordance with those representative for industrially produced and applied poly(DCPD).