Behavior of Poly(epsilon-caprolactone)s (PCLs) Coalesced from Their Stoichiometric Urea Inclusion Compounds and Their Use as Nucleants for Crystallizing PCL Melts: Dependence on PCL Molecular Weights

Gurarslan A., Shen J., Tonelli A. E.

MACROMOLECULES, vol.45, no.6, pp.2835-2840, 2012 (SCI-Expanded) identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 45 Issue: 6
  • Publication Date: 2012
  • Doi Number: 10.1021/ma300270g
  • Journal Name: MACROMOLECULES
  • Journal Indexes: Science Citation Index Expanded (SCI-EXPANDED), Scopus
  • Page Numbers: pp.2835-2840
  • Istanbul Technical University Affiliated: No


We have formed noncovalent inclusion compounds (ICs) between guest poly(e-caprolactone) (PCL) chains, with molecular weights ranging from similar to 2000 to 80 000 g/mol, and host urea (U). Upon careful removal of the U host, each of the guest PCL chains were coalesced from their U-IC crystals to produce coalesced samples (c-PCLs). As previously observed for PCL and other polymer guests when coalesced from their ICs formed with host cyclodextrins (CDs), upon cooling from their melts, PCLs coalesced from their U-ICs also show enhanced abilities to crystallize, regardless of their molecular weight. Also consistent with polymer guests, including PCL, that were coalesced from their CD-ICs, c-PCLs obtained from their U-ICs retain their enhanced abilities to crystallize even after spending long times (weeks or more) in the melt. Because, unlike CD hosts, U does not thread over guest polymer chains in their ICs, we conclude that the enhanced ability of c-PCLs to crystallize from their melts upon removal of either host from their ICs is solely a consequence of their coalesced conformations/structures/morphologies, which are stable to prolonged melt-annealing. Furthermore, because c-PCLs with chain lengths well below and well above those corresponding to the entanglement molecular weight of PCL behave similarly, we conclude that their enhanced ability to crystallize from the melt is likely an exclusive consequence of the extended and unentangled arrangement of their coalesced chains. In addition, c-PCLs obtained from their U-ICs are observed to effectively act as self-nucleants, when added in small amounts to as-received PCLs, to produce nuc-PCLs, which like neat c-PCLs exhibit an enhanced ability to melt-crystallize.