Characterization of molecular association of poly(2-oxazoline)s-based micelles with various epoxides and diols via the Flory-Huggins theory: a molecular dynamics simulation approach

BJ Chun and J Lu and M Weck and SS Jang, PHYSICAL CHEMISTRY CHEMICAL PHYSICS, 17, 29161-29170 (2015).

DOI: 10.1039/c5cp03854e

The hydrolytic kinetic resolution (HKR) of epoxides has been performed in a shell-crosslinked micellar (SCM) nanoreactor consisting of amphiphilic triblock copolymers based on poly(2-oxazline) s polymer derivatives with attached Co(III)-salens to the micelle core. To investigate the effect of the molecular interaction of reactant/product molecules with the SCM nanoreactor on the rate of HKR, we calculated the Flory-Huggins interaction parameters (w) using the molecular dynamics simulation method. For this, the blend systems were constructed with various compositions such as 15, 45, and 70 wt% of the reactant/product molecules with respect to the polymers such as poly(2-methyl-2-oxazoline) (PMOX), poly(2-(3-butinyl)-2- oxazoline) (PBOX), and poly(methyl-3-oxazol-2-yl) pentanoate with Co(III)-salen (PSCoX). From the chi parameters, we demonstrate that the miscibility of reactants/products with polymers has a strong correlation with the experimental reaction rate of the HKR: phenyl glycidyl ether (Reac-OPh) > epoxyhexane (Reac-C4) > styrene oxide (Reac-Ph) 4 epichlorohydrin (Reac-Cl). To validate this finding, we also conducted the potential of mean force analysis using steered molecular dynamics simulation for the molecular displacement of Reac-Cl and Reac-OPh through PMOX and PSCoX, revealing that the free energy reduction was greater when Reac-OPh molecule enters the polymer phase compared to Reac-Cl, which agrees with the findings from the chi parameters calculations.

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