ADVERTISEMENT
4 /5 FREE ARTICLES LEFT THIS MONTH Remaining
Chemistry matters. Join us to get the news you need.

If you have an ACS member number, please enter it here so we can link this account to your membership. (optional)

ACS values your privacy. By submitting your information, you are gaining access to C&EN and subscribing to our weekly newsletter. We use the information you provide to make your reading experience better, and we will never sell your data to third party members.

ENJOY UNLIMITED ACCES TO C&EN

Polymers

Easy-to-make polymer stretches, sticks, self-heals

Material’s features attributed to bonds that readily break and re-form

by Mitch Jacoby
July 29, 2018 | APPEARED IN VOLUME 96, ISSUE 31

 

09631-scicon8-polyTADIBfe.jpg

A few commercially available reagents and a little heat are all that’s needed to make a polymeric material that’s easily processed, highly stretchable, self-healing, and sticky, according to a study (Sci. Adv. 2018, DOI: 10.1126/sciadv.aat8192). The polymer may prove useful in producing adhesives, self-healing materials, and wearable devices. To make the compound, researchers at East China University of Science & Technology, including Da-Hui Qu, Yi-Tao Long, and chemistry Nobel laureate Ben L. Feringa, heated thioctic acid (TA), a coenzyme involved in animal metabolism, to 70 °C. The mild heat melts the organosulfur compound and triggers polymerization by opening TA’s five-membered ring at the site of a S–S bond. Cooling leads to poly(TA), a transparent solid cross-linked through carboxylic acid hydrogen bonds. But poly(TA) is metastable. So the researchers added diisopropenylbenzene (DIB) and ferric chloride to molten TA. Those reagents stabilize the product, poly(TA-DIB-Fe), by cross-linking it in three different ways (shown)—via hydrogen bonds, covalent bonds with DIB, and iron-carboxylate coordinative bonds. The polymer’s knack for repeatedly making and breaking three types of bonds endows it with many of its properties, such as the ability to be stretched to 150 times its original length without breaking.

X

Article:

This article has been sent to the following recipient:

Leave A Comment

*Required to comment