Angewandte Chemie - International Edition

New paradigms for organic catalysts: The first organocatalytic living polymerization

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A metal-free approach to the living ring-opening polymerization (ROP, shown schematically) of lactide has been developed using strongly basic amines such as 4-(dimethylamino)pyridine as transesterification catalysts. These organic catalysts must be used in combination with a nucleophile such as an alcohol, which is the actual initiating species.