Organomediated polymerization

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Due to their undeniably low cost, durability and processability, polymers, commonly called "plastics", have become so widely used that some predictions suggest that the global production will reach 800 million metric tons by 2050. As the amount of plastics used for packaging, textiles, electronics, batteries and in the automotive industry increases, so does the need to increase the sustainability of the plastics we use. The challenge of making plastics more sustainable is extended both to academia and industry and requires a wide range of approaches.

One challenge of making plastics more sustainable is tied to the development of benign and efficient catalysts. Even though catalysts are a minor component in a polymer formulation, they are key factors to afford energy efficient syntheses. While traditionally transition metal-based catalysts have been utilized in macromolecular chemistry, their toxicity and in some cases their limited availability have boosted the development of other, more sustainable catalyst families. Finding efficient, abundant, and sustainable catalysts is hence a paramount challenge for macromolecular chemistry in order to increase the sustainability of products.

Organocatalysis, or the use of organic molecules to mediate polymer reactions, has evolved into an effective complement to transition metal-based catalysis in polymerization, polymer functionalization, and depolymerization. Since the seminal work of Hedrick and Waymouth, who showed that simple molecules are able to promote the ring opening polymerization of cyclic monomers, the field has evolved tremendously. To date, organocatalysis can be considered one of the central pillars in the field of catalysis, as recently highlighted by the 2021 Chemistry Nobel Prize.

This Guest Edited Collection aims to bring together research focused on polymeric transformations mediated by organocatalysts. While the focus is primarily on organomediated polymeric transformations, we encourage submissions also on other sustainable catalysts e.g. work on biocatalytic polymerizations and work using earth abundant sustainable metals. In addition, submissions on new perspectives on the depolymerization of polymers synthesized by the above or related methodologies are also welcome. The Collection primarily welcomes original research papers, in the form of both full articles and communications. All submissions will be subject to the same review process and editorial standards as regular Communications Chemistry Articles.

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Cells and biological chain, molecules and abstract conception, 3d rendering


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