The synthesis of cyclic polybutadienes using ring-opening metathesis polymerization (ROMP) was accomplished. A cyclic Ru alkylidene catalyst, where a terminal ligand was covalently linked to the Ru alkylidene, was used to polymerize either 1,5-cyclooctadiene (COD) or 1,5,9-trans-cis-trans-cyclododecatriene (CDT). Trace amounts of an acyclic impurity, 4-vinylcyclohexene, found in the COD led to samples which were contaminated with linear polymer. In contrast, CDT, which was free of the impurity, afforded pure cyclic polymer. These results provide a convenient method for discerning samples of pure cyclic polymer from those which contain trace to large amounts of linear polymer. Furthermore, they emphasize the need to use monomers that are free of acyclic impurities when preparing cyclic polymers using ROMP.
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