Fully Degradable Polyacrylate Networks from Conventional Radical Polymerization Enabled by Thionolactone Addition

Harry Elliss, Frances Dawson, Qamar un Nisa, Nathaniel Bingham, Peter Roth, Maciek Kopec

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

17 Citations (SciVal)

Abstract

We report the preparation of degradable polymer networks by conventional free radical copolymerization of n-butyl acrylate with a crosslinker (1 mol %) and dibenzo[c,e]oxepane-5-thione (DOT) as a strand-cleaving comonomer. Addition of only 4 mol % of DOT imparts the synthesized networks with full degradability by aminolysis, whereas gels with less DOT (2–3 mol %) cannot be degraded. This data confirms the recently proposed reverse gel-point model for networks prepared by free radical polymerization and demonstrates the importance of considering copolymerization kinetics when designing fully degradable gels. Notably, even though DOT significantly slows down the polymerization and delays gelation, it has a minimal effect on physical properties of the networks such as shear storage modulus, equilibrium swelling ratio, glass transition temperature, or thermal stability.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)6695-6702
JournalMacromolecules
Volume55
Issue number15
Early online date25 Jul 2022
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 9 Aug 2022

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This work was supported by the RSC Research Enablement grant no. E21-2719779284. Analytical facilities were provided through the Material and Chemical Characterization Facility (MC2) at the University of Bath. The authors are grateful to Dr Rémi Castaing and Dr Martin Levere (MC) for help with thermal analysis and GPC. 2

ASJC Scopus subject areas

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

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