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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Poly(oxime-ester) Vitrimers with Catalyst-Free Bond Exchange.

  • Author(s): He, Changfei
  • Shi, Shaowei
  • Wang, Dong
  • Helms, Brett A
  • Russell, Thomas P
  • et al.

Vitrimers are network polymers that undergo associative bond exchange reactions in the condensed phase above a threshold temperature, dictated by the exchangeable bonds comprising the vitrimer. For vitrimers, chemistries reliant on poorly nucleophilic bond exchange partners (e.g., hydroxy-functionalized alkanes) or poorly electrophilic exchangeable bonds, catalysts are required to lower the threshold temperature, which is undesirable in that catalyst leaching or deactivation diminishes its influence over time and may compromise reuse. Here we show how to access catalyst-free bond exchange reactions in catalyst-dependent polyester vitrimers by obviating conventional ester bonds in favor of oxime-esters. Poly(oxime-ester) (POE) vitrimers are synthesized using thiol-ene click chemistry, affording high stretchability and malleability. POE vitrimers are readily recycled with little degradation of their initial mechanical properties, suggesting exciting opportunities for sustainable plastics.

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