A well-defined amphiphilic comb-like copolymer of poly(ethylene oxide)(PEO) as main chain and polylactide (PLA) as side chain was successfully prepared via a combination of anionic polymerization and coordination-insertion ring-opening polymerization. The anionic copolymerization of ethylene oxide (EO) and ethoxyethyl glycidyl ether (EEGE) was carried out using potassium 2-(2-methoxyethoxy)ethoxide as initiator, and then ethoxyethyl groups of EEGE units of the copolymers obtained were removed by hydrolysis. Two copolymers of methoxypoly(ethylene oxide-co-glycidol) [mpoly(EO-co-Gly)] were formed with multiple hydroxyl sites (the molar ratio values of Gly to EO in copolymers: 1/10.6 and 1/5.2; Mn: 10,100 and 5,020 respectively), and them were used further to initiate the ring-opening polymerization of lactide in the presence of stannous octoate, and a well-defined comb-like copolymer of PEO as main chain and PLA as side chain was obtained. The intermediate and final products of PEO-g-PLA were characterized by GPC and NMR in detail.
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The finial support for this work, provided by the Henan Science Foundation of the People’s Republic of China for Outstanding Youth (74100510025) and the Natural Science Foundation of Education Department of Henan Province (2009A430018), is highly appreciated.