Exploiting the LCST of PNIPAM for the recycling of polymer-embedded organocatalysts
What is it about?
Polymer particles have been proven excellent candidates as hosts for organocatalysts, in some cases enhancing the efficiency of the catalyst. Here, we demonstrate the use of crosslinked hydrophobic nanogels, that are covalently loaded with L-proline, as an efficient catalytic nanoreactor that can be recycled owing to a temperature-responsive polymeric corona. In addition to that, when the outer polymer layer is not heavily crosslinked, the catalytic efficiency decreases.
Why is it important?
This paper extends the idea of embedding a precious catalyst (here we use L-proline as the cheaper analogue) within an polymer nanoparticle which is easy to make and can easily be separated from smaller molecules, such as the products of the catalysis. In addition to that, we use a polymer that responds to temperature changes, thus making the particles recyclable; that is after removal of the catalysis products, the particles are redispersed and reused.
The following have contributed to this page: Dr Dafni Moatsou