5 years ago

Lowering the Healing Temperature of Photoswitchable Dynamic Covalent Polymer Networks

Lowering the Healing Temperature of Photoswitchable Dynamic Covalent Polymer Networks
Kevin Broi, Stefan Hecht, Anne Fuhrmann
To reduce the environmental footprint of the modern society, it is desirable to elongate the lifetime of consumer products, for example by implementing healable coatings and protective layers. However, since most healing processes carried out by heat or light suffer from material degradation, improving the robustness and integrity of healable materials is of tremendous importance to prolong their lifetime. In recent work, a prototype is created of a dynamic covalent polymer network, whose thermal healing ability can be switched “on” and “off” by light to provide a means to locally control repair of a damaged coating. Based on the initial concept, herein a new set of difunctional crosslinkers and linear polymers of various compositions is presented to form dynamic covalent polymer networks, in which the barrier for the retro Diels–Alder decrosslinking reaction is decreased. The approach results in lower healing temperatures and thus a longer lifetime of the material. Dynamic covalent polymer networks based on photoswitchable crosslinkers exhibit improved thermal healability that can be switched “on” and “off” by light. Combining new difunctional crosslinkers with various linear polymethacrylates lowers the temperature required to repair damage, such as scratches in thin films, by 20 K, thereby prolonging the lifetime of the material.

Publisher URL: http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/resolve/doi

DOI: 10.1002/marc.201700376

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