skip to main content

Attention:

The NSF Public Access Repository (NSF-PAR) system and access will be unavailable from 11:00 PM ET on Thursday, May 23 until 2:00 AM ET on Friday, May 24 due to maintenance. We apologize for the inconvenience.


Title: Sustainable glucose-based block copolymers exhibit elastomeric and adhesive behavior
Herein, we present the direct modification of glucose, an abundant and inexpensive sugar molecule, to produce new sustainable and functional polymers. Glucose-6-acrylate-1,2,3,4-tetraacetate (GATA) has been synthesized and shown to provide a useful glassy component for developing an innovative family of elastomeric and adhesive materials. A series of diblock and triblock copolymers of GATA and n -butyl acrylate (n-BA) were created via Reversible Addition–Fragmentation Chain Transfer (RAFT) polymerization. Initially, poly(GATA)- b -poly(n-BA) copolymers were prepared using 4-cyano-4-[(ethylsulfanylthiocarbonyl)sulfanyl] pentanoic acid (CEP) as a chain transfer agent (CTA). These diblock copolymers demonstrated decomposition temperatures of 275 °C or greater and two glass transition temperatures ( T g ) around −45 °C and 100 °C corresponding to the PnBA and PGATA domains, respectively, as measured by differential scanning calorimetry (DSC). Triblock copolymers of GATA and n-BA, with moderate dispersities ( Đ = 1.15–1.29), were successfully synthesized when S , S -dibenzyl trithiocarbonate (DTC) was employed as the CTA. Poly(GATA)- b -poly(nBA)- b -poly(GATA) copolymers with 14–58 wt% GATA were prepared and demonstrated excellent thermomechanical properties ( T d ≥ 279 °C). Two well-separated glass transitions near the values for homopolymers of n-BA and GATA (∼−45 °C and ∼100 °C, respectively) were measured by DSC. The triblock with 14% GATA exhibited peel adhesion of 2.31 N cm −1 (when mixed with 30 wt% tackifier) that is superior to many commercial pressure sensitive adhesives (PSAs). Use of 3,5-bis(2-dodecylthiocarbonothioylthio-1oxopropoxy)benzoic acid (BTCBA) as the CTA provided a more efficient route to copolymerize GATA and n-BA. Using BTCBA, poly(GATA)- b -poly(nBA)- b -poly(GATA) triblock copolymers containing 12–25 wt% GATA, with very narrow molar mass distributions ( Đ ≤ 1.08), were prepared. The latter series of triblock copolymers showed excellent thermal stability with T d ≥ 275 °C. Only the T g for the PnBA block was observed by DSC (∼−45 °C), however, phase-separation was confirmed by small-angle X-ray scattering (SAXS) for all of these triblock copolymers. The mechanical behavior of the polymers was investigated by tensile experiments and the triblock with 25% GATA content demonstrated moderate elastomeric properties, 573 kPa stress at break and 171% elongation. This study introduces a new family of glucose-based ABA-type copolymers and demonstrates functionality of a glucose-based feedstock for developing green polymeric materials.  more » « less
Award ID(s):
1413862
NSF-PAR ID:
10055686
Author(s) / Creator(s):
;
Date Published:
Journal Name:
Polymer Chemistry
Volume:
7
Issue:
33
ISSN:
1759-9954
Page Range / eLocation ID:
5233 to 5240
Format(s):
Medium: X
Sponsoring Org:
National Science Foundation
More Like this
  1. Directing polymer self-assembly through noncovalent interactions is a powerful way to control the structure and function of nanoengineered materials. Dynamic hydrogen bonds are particularly useful for materials with structures that change over time or in response to specific stimuli. In the present work, we use the supramolecular association of urea moieties to manipulate the morphology, thermal response, and mechanical properties of soft polymeric hydrogels. Urea-terminated poly(isopropyl glycidyl ether)- b -poly(ethylene oxide)- b -poly(isopropyl glycidyl ether) ABA triblock copolymers were synthesized using controlled, anionic ring-opening polymerization and subsequent chain-end functionalization. Triblock copolymers with hydroxy end-groups were incapable of hydrogelation, while polymers terminated with meta -bis-urea motifs formed robust gels at room temperature. Rheometric analysis of the bulk gels, variable-temperature infrared spectroscopy (VT-IR), differential scanning calorimetry (DSC), and small-angle X-ray scattering (SAXS) confirmed the formation of structured hydrogels via association of the meta -bis-urea end-groups. Monourea end-groups did not result in the same regular structure as the meta -bis-urea. In future, the reported hydrogels could be useful for elastomeric, shape-morphing 3D-printed constructs, or as biomimetic scaffolds with precisely tailored porosity and mechanical properties. 
    more » « less
  2. This work reveals the influence of pendant hydrogen bonding strength and distribution on self-assembly and the resulting thermomechanical properties of A-AB-A triblock copolymers. Reversible addition-fragmentation chain transfer polymerization afforded a library of A-AB-A acrylic triblock copolymers, wherein the A unit contained cytosine acrylate (CyA) or post-functionalized ureido cytosine acrylate (UCyA) and the B unit consisted of n-butyl acrylate (nBA). Differential scanning calorimetry revealed two glass transition temperatures, suggesting microphase-separation in the A-AB-A triblock copolymers. Thermomechanical and morphological analysis revealed the effects of hydrogen bonding distribution and strength on the self-assembly and microphase-separated morphology. Dynamic mechanical analysis showed multiple tan delta (δ) transitions that correlated to chain relaxation and hydrogen bonding dissociation, further confirming the microphase-separated structure. In addition, UCyA triblock copolymers possessed an extended modulus plateau versus temperature compared to the CyA analogs due to the stronger association of quadruple hydrogen bonding. CyA triblock copolymers exhibited a cylindrical microphase-separated morphology according to small-angle X-ray scattering. In contrast, UCyA triblock copolymers lacked long-range ordering due to hydrogen bonding induced phase mixing. The incorporation of UCyA into the soft central block resulted in improved tensile strength, extensibility, and toughness compared to the AB random copolymer and A-B-A triblock copolymer comparisons. This study provides insight into the structure-property relationships of A-AB-A supramolecular triblock copolymers that result from tunable association strengths. 
    more » « less
  3. We report a green solvent-to-polymer upgrading transformation of chemicals of the lactic acid portfolio into water-soluble lower critical solution temperature (LCST)-type acrylic polymers. Aqueous Cu(0)-mediated living radical polymerization (SET-LRP) was utilized for the rapid synthesis of N -substituted lactamide-type homo and random acrylic copolymers under mild conditions. A particularly unique aspect of this work is that the water-soluble monomers and the SET-LRP initiator used to produce the corresponding polymers were synthesized from biorenewable and non-toxic solvents, namely natural ethyl lactate and BASF's Agnique® AMD 3L ( N , N -dimethyl lactamide, DML). The pre-disproportionation of Cu( i )Br in the presence of tris[2-(dimethylamino)ethyl]amine (Me 6 TREN) in water generated nascent Cu(0) and Cu( ii ) complexes that facilitated the fast polymerization of N -tetrahydrofurfuryl lactamide and N , N -dimethyl lactamide acrylate monomers (THFLA and DMLA, respectively) up to near-quantitative conversion with excellent control over molecular weight (5000 < M n < 83 000) and dispersity (1.05 < Đ < 1.16). Interestingly, poly(THFLA) showed a degree of polymerization and concentration dependent LCST behavior, which can be fine-tuned ( T cp = 12–62 °C) through random copolymerization with the more hydrophilic DMLA monomer. Finally, covalent cross-linking of these polymers resulted in a new family of thermo-responsive hydrogels with excellent biocompatibility and tunable swelling and LCST transition. These illustrate the versatility of these neoteric green polymers in the preparation of smart and biocompatible soft materials. 
    more » « less
  4. Abstract

    Internal plasticization of poly(vinyl chloride) (PVC) was achieved in one‐step using copper‐mediated atom transfer radical polymerization to graft different ratios of randomn‐butyl acrylate and 2–2‐(2‐ethoxyethoxy)ethyl acrylate copolymers from defect sites on the PVC chain. Five graft polymers were made with different ratios of poly(butyl acrylate) (PBA) and poly(2–2‐(2‐ethoxyethoxy)ethyl acrylate) (P2EEA); the glass transition temperatures (Tg) of functionalized PVC polymers range from − 25 to − 50°C. SingleTgvalues were observed for all polymers, indicating good compatibility between PVC and grafted chains, with no evidence of microphase separation. Plasticization efficiency is higher for polyether P2EEA moieties compared with PBA components. The resultant PVC graft copolymers are thermally more stable compared to unmodified PVC. Increasing the reaction scale from 2 to 14 g produces consistent and reproducible results, suggesting this method could be applicable on an industrial scale.

     
    more » « less
  5. Abstract

    Halogen exchange in atom transfer radical polymerization (ATRP) is an efficient way to chain‐extend from a less active macroinitiator (MI) to a more active monomer. This has been previously achieved by using CuCl/L in the equimolar amount to Pn−Br MI in the chain extension step. However, this approach cannot be effectively applied in systems based on regeneration of activators (ARGET ATRP), since they operate with ppm amounts of catalysts. Herein, a catalytic halogen exchange procedure is reported using a catalytic amount of Cu in miniemulsion ARGET ATRP to chain‐extend from a less active poly(n‐butyl acrylate) (PBA) MI to a more active methyl methacrylate (MMA) monomer. Influence of different reagents on the initiation efficiency and dispersity is studied. Addition of 0.1mNaCl or tetraethylammonium chloride to ATRP of MMA initiated by methyl 2‐bromopropionate leads to high initiation efficiency and polymers with low dispersity. The optimized conditions are then employed in chain extension of PBA MI with MMA to prepare diblock and triblock copolymers.

     
    more » « less