Physical and thermal properties of l-lactide/ϵ-caprolactone copolymers:the role of microstructural design


Understanding the underlying role of microstructural design in polymers allows for the manipulation and control of properties for a wide range of specific applications. As such, this work focuses on the study of microstructure–property relationships in l-lactide/ϵ-caprolactone (LL/CL) copolymers. One-step and two-step bulk ring-opening polymerization (ROP) procedures were employed to synthesize LL/CL copolymers of various compositions and chain microstructures. In the one-step procedure, LL and CL were simultaneously copolymerized to yield P(LL-stat-CL) statistical copolymers. In the two-step procedure, poly(l-lactide) (PLL) and poly(ϵ-caprolactone) (PCL) prepolymers were synthesized in the first step before CL and LL respectively were added in the second step to yield P[LL-b-(CL-stat-LL)-b-LL] and P[CL-b-(LL-stat-CL)-b-CL] block copolymers as the final products. The findings reveal that, in addition to the copolymerization procedure employed, the length and type of the prepolymer play important roles in determining the chain microstructure and thereby the overall properties of the final copolymer. Moreover, control over the degree of crystallinity and the type of crystalline domains, which is controlled during the polymer chemistry process, heavily influences the physical and mechanical properties of the final polymer. In summary, this work describes an interesting approach to the microstructural design of biodegradable copolymers of LL and CL for potential use in biomedical applications.

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Divisions: College of Engineering & Physical Sciences > Aston Institute of Materials Research (AIMR)
College of Engineering & Physical Sciences
College of Engineering & Physical Sciences > School of Infrastructure and Sustainable Engineering > Chemical Engineering & Applied Chemistry
College of Engineering & Physical Sciences > Aston Polymer Research Group
Funding Information: S.P. wishes to thank the Research Professional Development Project under the Science Achievement Scholarship of Thailand (SAST) for the provision of a PhD scholarship and also the Graduate School, Chiang Mai University. This research work was partially su
Additional Information: This is the peer reviewed version of the following article: Phetsuk, S., Molloy, R., Nalampang, K., Meepowpan, P., Topham, P.D., Tighe, B.J. and Punyodom, W. (2020), Physical and thermal properties of l‐lactide/ϵ‐caprolactone copolymers: the role of microstructural design. Polym Int, which has been published in final form at  This article may be used for non-commercial purposes in accordance With Wiley Terms and Conditions for self-archiving.
Uncontrolled Keywords: l-lactide/ϵ-caprolactone copolymers,microstructural design,ring-opening polymerization,tin(II) n-butoxide,Polymers and Plastics,Organic Chemistry,Materials Chemistry
Publication ISSN: 1097-0126
Last Modified: 16 Jul 2024 07:13
Date Deposited: 06 Jan 2020 09:01
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Related URLs: http://www.scop ... tnerID=8YFLogxK (Scopus URL)
https://onlinel ... 10.1002/pi.5940 (Publisher URL)
PURE Output Type: Article
Published Date: 2020-03
Published Online Date: 2019-12-04
Accepted Date: 2019-10-29
Authors: Phetsuk, Sawarot
Molloy, Robert
Nalampang, Kanarat
Meepowpan, Puttinan
Topham, Paul D. (ORCID Profile 0000-0003-4152-6976)
Tighe, Brian J. (ORCID Profile 0000-0001-9601-8501)
Punyodom, Winita



Version: Accepted Version

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