Regioselective Synthesis of Cellulose Ester Homopolymers
Regioselective synthesis of cellulose esters is extremely difficult due to the small reactivity differences between cellulose hydroxyl groups, small differences in steric demand between acyl moieties of interest, and the difficulty of attaching and detaching many protecting groups in the presence of cellulose ester moieties without removing the ester groups. Yet the synthesis of homopolymers of particular regioselectively substituted anhydroglucose esters is of critical importance to allow us to determine the analytical characteristics of such homopolymers, their structure−property relationships, and to obtain guidance that may ultimately enable identification and synthesis of cellulose derivatives with superior properties for various applications. We report here a new, general synthesis of both cellulose-2,6-O-diesters and cellulose-2,6-A-O-3-B-O-triesters with a high degree of regioselectivity, employing 3-Oallylcellulose as a key protected precursor. 3-O-Allylcellulose was identified as a protected intermediate with high potential for the synthesis of these derivatives with the aid of molecular modeling of corresponding glucose analogs. We report also the first analytical and structure property studies of these regioselectively substituted cellulose esters.