Ring-opening copolymerization (ROCOP) is an effective means to prepare functionalized polyester. In this work, a type of selenide-containing polyesters with controllable structure, molecular weight, and molecular weight distribution was successfully prepared by ROCOP of γ-selenobutyrolactone and epoxy compounds. The influence of the catalyst, solvent, and reaction temperature on the reaction efficiency was examined. Then, kinetic study was investigated under an optimized condition. The structure of the copolymers was carefully characterized by nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR), 1H NMR, 13C NMR, and 77Se NMR, Matrix-assisted laser-desorption-ionization time-of-flight mass spectrometry (MALDI-TOF-MS), and size exclusion chromatography (SEC). The resulting polymers showed a linear structure with a sequence regulated backbone repeating unit of ester-selenide. On this basis, some typical epoxides were investigated to verify the scope of the polymerization system. Due to the "living"/controlled characteristics of this ROCOP, multiblock, amphiphilic, and stereotactic copolymers could be prepared with a pre-designed structure. As expected, the selenide-containing amphiphilic copolymer could self-assemble to micelles and showed an oxidative response.
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