Ring Opening Metathesis Polymerization Review

Some cyclic monomers such as norbornene or cyclooctadiene can be polymerized to high molecular weight polymers by using metal catalysts.ROP is a versatile method for the synthesis of biopolymers.

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A polymerization in which a cyclic monomer yields a monomeric unit which is acyclic or contains fewer cycles than the monomer.

Note: If the monomer is polycyclic, the opening of a single ring is sufficient to classify the reaction as ring-opening polymerization.

Monomers with a three-member ring structure - such as epoxide, aziridine, and episulfide - undergo anionic ROP.

Cationic initiators and intermediates characterize cationic ring-opening polymerization (CROP).

Mechanisms and thermodynamics of ring-opening polymerization were established in the 1950s.

Additionally, radical ROP is useful in producing polymers with functional groups incorporated in the backbone chain that cannot otherwise be synthesized via conventional chain-growth polymerization of vinyl monomers.

Modified from the earlier definition In polymer chemistry, ring-opening polymerization (ROP) is a form of chain-growth polymerization, in which the terminus of a polymer chain attacks cyclic monomers to form a longer polymer (see figure).

The reactive center can be radical, anionic or cationic.

For instance, radical ROP can produce polymers with ethers, esters, amides, and carbonates as functional groups along the main chain.

The general mechanism for anionic ring-opening polymerization.


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