Reprocessable Acid-Degradable Polycarbonate Vitrimers

Rachel L. Snyder, David J. Fortman, Guilhem X. De Hoe, Marc A. Hillmyer, William R. Dichtel*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

88 Scopus citations

Abstract

Vitrimers are cross-linked polymer networks containing linkages that undergo thermally activated, associative exchange reactions, such that the cross-link density and overall network connectivity are preserved. Polycarbonates are industrially relevant polymers that, to our knowledge, have not yet been explored as vitrimers. We developed hydroxyl-functionalized polycarbonate networks that undergo transcarbonation exchange reactions at elevated temperatures in the presence of catalytic Ti(IV) alkoxides. The rate of transcarbonation within the networks, estimated through stress relaxation experiments, was tuned by adjusting the catalyst loading or hydroxyl group concentration in the networks. The polymer networks exhibit recovery of their tensile strength and plateau storage modulus (71-133%) after reprocessing. In addition to being reprocessable, the networks were hydrolyzed and decarboxylated in aqueous acid to recover 80 wt % of the precursor to the bifunctional cyclic carbonate monomer. These observations demonstrate that PC vitrimers are a novel class of strong, repairable polymers with more facile end-of-life degradation compared to other vitrimers and conventional thermosets. These characteristics, along with the high likelihood of deriving their monomers from bio-based sources, make PC vitrimers outstanding candidates for sustainable manufacture and use.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)389-397
Number of pages9
JournalMacromolecules
Volume51
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 23 2018

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Organic Chemistry
  • Polymers and Plastics
  • Inorganic Chemistry
  • Materials Chemistry

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    Snyder, R. L., Fortman, D. J., De Hoe, G. X., Hillmyer, M. A., & Dichtel, W. R. (2018). Reprocessable Acid-Degradable Polycarbonate Vitrimers. Macromolecules, 51(2), 389-397. https://doi.org/10.1021/acs.macromol.7b02299