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J Am Chem Soc. 2012 May 23;134(20):8424-7. doi: 10.1021/ja303356z. Epub 2012 May 11.

Making insoluble polymer networks malleable via olefin metathesis.

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Department of Chemistry, University of California, Irvine, 92697, United States.


Covalently cross-linked polymers have many technological applications for their excellent properties, but they suffer from the lack of processability and adaptive properties. We report a simple, efficient method of generating adaptive cross-linked polymers via olefin metathesis. By introducing a very low level of the Grubbs' second-generation Ru metathesis catalyst, a chemically cross-linked polybutadiene network becomes malleable at room temperature while retaining its insolubility. The stress relaxation capability increases with increasing level of catalyst loading. In sharp contrast, catalyst-free control samples with identical network topology and cross-linking density do not show any adaptive properties. This chemistry should offer a possibility to combine the dimensional stability and solvent resistance of cross-linked polymers and the processability/adaptibility of thermoplastics.


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