Cross-linker control of vitrimer flow

Bassil M. El-Zaatari, Jacob S.A. Ishibashi, Julia A. Kalow

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

52 Scopus citations


Vitrimers are a class of covalent adaptable networks (CANs) that undergo topology reconfiguration via associative exchange reactions, enabling reprocessing at elevated temperatures. Here, we show that cross-linker reactivity represents an additional design parameter to tune stress relaxation rates in vitrimers. Guided by calculated activation barriers, we prepared a series of cross-linkers with varying reactivity for the conjugate addition - elimination of thiols in a PDMS vitrimer. Surprisingly, despite a wide range of stress relaxation rates, we observe that the flow activation energy of the bulk material is independent of the cross-linker structure. Superposition of storage and loss moduli from frequency sweeps can be performed for different cross-linkers, indicating the same exchange mechanism. We show that we can mix different cross-linkers in a single material in order to further modulate the stress relaxation behavior.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)5339-5345
Number of pages7
JournalPolymer Chemistry
Issue number33
StatePublished - Sep 7 2020

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Bioengineering
  • Biochemistry
  • Organic Chemistry
  • Polymers and Plastics


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