Alina Denk, M.Sc.


Raum: CRC 3044

Telefon: 54185

email: alina.denk(at)

Motivated by the increasing interest in sustainable polymers, intense research has been carried out in the field of CO2-based polycarbonates over the last years. As a result of this research, catalysts for the ring-opening copolymerization of epoxides and CO2 have evolved from early heterogeneous compounds to a wide variety of homogeneous complexes. Simultaneously, the range of epoxide monomers has steadily expanded in response to the growing interest in bio-based polymer feedstocks. The potential of the resulting aliphatic polycarbonates is expressed in their thermal and mechanical properties, where they exhibit a wide range from soft to brittle and from low to high glass transition temperatures.

My research project:

My research focuses on the improvement of material properties of aliphatic polycarbonates. Different monomers, but also structural variations in the resulting polymer are of major importance in this process. Besides the synthesis of these polymers a deep analysis in terms of thermal and mechanical properties is necessary in order to determine the effects of structural changes.


Alina Denk, Bernhard Rieger, Buchkapitel in In: Advances in Polymer Science. Springer, Berlin, Heidelberg. 2022, pp 1-19
"Biobased Synthesis and Biodegradability of CO2-Based Polycarbonates"

Alina Denk, Sebastian Kernbichl, Andreas Schaffer, Moritz Kränzlein, Thomas Pehl, Bernhard Rieger ACS Macro Letters 2020 9 (4), 571-575.
“Heteronuclear, Monomer-Selective Zn/Y Catalyst Combines Copolymerization of Epoxides and CO2 with Group-Transfer Polymerization of Michael-Type Monomers”

Related publications on the project:

Sebastian Kernbichl, Bernhard Rieger, Polymer 2020, 205, 122667.
"Aliphatic polycarbonates derived from epoxides and CO2: A comparative study of Poly(cyclohexene carbonate) and Poly(limonene carbonate)"

Sebastian Kernbichl, Marina Reiter, Josef Mock, Bernhard Rieger, Macromolecules 2019, 52, 21, 8476-8483.
"Terpolymerization of β‑Butyrolactone, Epoxides, and CO2:Chemoselective CO2‑Switch and Its Impact on Kinetics and Material Properties"

Sebastian Kernbichl, Marina Reiter, Friederike Adams, Sergei Vagin, Bernhard Rieger, J. Am. Chem. Soc. 2017, 139, 20, 6787–6790.
"CO2-Controlled One-Pot Synthesis of AB, ABA Block, and Statistical Terpolymers from β-Butyrolactone, Epoxides, and CO2"

M. Reiter, S. Vagin, A. Kronast, C. Jandl, B. Rieger, Chemical Science 2017, 8, 1876-1882.
"A Lewis acid β-diiminato-zinc-complex as allrounder for co- and terpolymerisation of various epoxides with carbon dioxide"

O. Hauenstein, M. Reiter, S. Agarwal, B. Rieger,  A. Greiner, Green Chem., 2016,18, 760-770.
"Bio-based polycarbonate from limonene oxide and CO2 with high molecular weight, excellent thermal resistance, hardness and transparency"

Marina Reiter, Alexander Kronast, Stefan Kissling, Bernhard Rieger, ACS Macro Lett., 2016, 5, 419–423.
"In Situ Generated ABA Block Copolymers from CO2, Cyclohexene Oxide, and Poly(dimethylsiloxane)s"