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This content will become publicly available on August 28, 2024

Title: Tuning the crystallization and thermal properties of polyesters by introducing functional groups that induce intermolecular interactions
The performance of sustainable polymers can be modified and enhanced by incorporating functional groups in the backbone of the polymer chain that increases intermolecular interactions, thus impacting the thermal properties of the material. However, in-depth studies on the role of intermolecular interactions on the crystallization of these polymers are still needed. This work aims to ascertain whether incorporating functional groups able to induce intermolecular interactions can be used as a suitable systematic strategy to modify the polymer thermal properties and crystallization kinetics. Thus, amide and additional ester groups have been incorporated into aliphatic polyesters (PEs). The impact of intermolecular interactions on the melting and crystallization behavior, crystallization kinetics, and crystalline structure has been determined. Functional groups that form strong intermolecular interactions increase both melting and crystallization temperatures but retard the crystallization kinetics. Selecting appropriate functional groups allows tuning the crystallinity degree, which can potentially improve the mechanical properties and degradability in semicrystalline materials. The results demonstrate that it is possible to tune the thermal transitions and the crystallization kinetics of PEs independently by varying their chemical structure.  more » « less
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The Journal of Chemical Physics
Medium: X
Sponsoring Org:
National Science Foundation
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