Semicrystalline thermoplastic elastomeric polyolefins: Advances through catalyst development and macromolecular design

Atsushi Hotta, Eric Cochran, Janne Ruokolainen, Vikram Khanna, Glenn H. Fredrickson, Edward J. Kramer, Yong Woo Shin, Fumihiko Shimizu, Anna E. Cherian, Phillip D. Hustad, Jeffrey M. Rose, Geoffrey W. Coates

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

115 Citations (Scopus)


We report the design, synthesis, morphology, phase behavior, and mechanical properties of semicrystalline, polyolefin-based block copolymers. By using living, stereoselective insertion polymerization catalysts, syndiotactic polypropylene-block-poly(ethylene-co-propylene)-block-syndiotactic polypropylene and isotactic poly propylene-block-regioirregular poly propylene-block- isotactic polypropylene triblock copolymers were synthesized. The volume fraction and composition of the blocks, as well as the overall size of the macromolecules, were controlled by sequential synthesis of each block of the polymers. These triblock copolymers, with semicrystalline end-blocks and mid-segments with low glass-transition temperatures, show significant potential as thermoplastic elastomers. They have low Young's moduli, large strains at break, and better than 90% elastic recovery at strains of 100% or less. An isotactic polypropylene-block-regioirregular polypropylene-block-isotactic polypropylene-block-regioirregular polypropylene-block-isotactic polypropylene pentablock copolymer was synthesized that also shows exceptional elastomeric properties. Notably, microphase separation is not necessary in the semicrystalline isotactic polypropylenes to achieve good mechanical performance, unlike commercial styrenic thermoplastic elastomers.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)15327-15332
Number of pages6
JournalProceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
Issue number42
Publication statusPublished - 2006 Oct 17


  • Block copolymer
  • Polypropylene

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General


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