Theses and Dissertations

Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)



First Advisor

Dr. Javier Macossay-Torres

Second Advisor

Dr. Yuanbing Mao

Third Advisor

Dr. Mohammed Uddin


Poly(ϵ-caprolactone) (PCL) is a biodegradable polyester notorious by its promising properties and applications in the biomedical field. In this work, microwave-assisted ringopening polymerization (ROP) of ϵ-caprolactone (ϵ-CL) was performed. Stannous octoate [Sn(Oct)2] was used as catalyst with and without an alcohol initiator. The different initiators tested were glycerol, diethylene glycol (DEG) and poly(ethylene) glycol (PEG). Aiming to establish reaction parameters, the influence of different reaction times, temperatures, and monomer:initiator:catalyst ratios were examined. It was observed that the reaction was obtained and high molecular weight PCL was achieved successfully without an initiator. However, mixed results were obtained using an initiator. Products were characterized using FTIR, Raman, and NMR; molecular weight of products was determined by GPC. Crystallization and thermal properties were characterized by XRD, DSC and TGA. The high molecular weight PCL obtained was used to produce fibers via electrospinning. Tensile strength of fibers was examined, observing good mechanical properties.

Included in

Chemistry Commons