Date of Award

Spring 5-5-2014

Document Type


Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts



First Advisor

Dr. Yutan D. Y. L. Getzler


The complex (tBu-SalAmEE)Al (N,N-bis(3,5-di-tert-butyl-2-hydroxybenzyl)-2-(2-aminoethoxy)ethoxyaluminum) has been shown to catalyze the polymerization of lactide into cyclic polylactic acid (cPLA), which differs from its linear counterpart in a variety of ways, including its architecture and its lower intrinsic viscosity. We have shown that the rate of lactide cyclopolymerization is 1st order with respect to catalyst, and 0th order with respect to lactide. The results of Lewis base (L:) coordination studies were consistent with two possible coordination modes of the catalyst, which translate to two equivalent unimolecular events in the catalyst that could be responsible for the rate determining step (r.d.s.). Two proposed syntheses provide a way to access a ligand that will assay the catalyst to test for a specific unimolecular event. Both were unsuccessful in making aminochloroethoxy ethanol, a vital intermediate to accessing chlorinated (tBu-SalAmEE)Al. By increasing the rate of polymerization with our proposed catalytic modification, we will have strengthened our claim for the unimolecular event responsible for the r.d.s..

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