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    The effects of incorporating metal‐binding ligands as chain extenders in polyurethane elastomers were investigated. Segmented polyurethanes based on 2 kDa poly(tetramethylene oxide) (PTMO) and 4,4‐methylenebis(cyclohexyl isocyanate) were polymerized using a two‐step process in which 2,6‐bis(1‐ethyl‐5‐(methoxymethyl)‐1H‐benzo[d]imidazol‐2‐yl)pyridine was added as a chain extender. The resulting polyurethanes were then metallated using stoichiometric amounts of Zn(II) metal salts with different counterions. The resulting metallopolymers have substantially improved Young's moduli, increased failure stress, and improved thermomechanical behavior. The materials were microphase‐separated into anisotropic hard domains within a PTMO matrix. Simultaneous small‐angle X‐ray scattering and tensile testing revealed the minority hard segment domains remain relatively intact during elongation, likely due to the strength of the metal–ligand complex. © 2019 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. J. Polym. Sci., Part B: Polym. Phys.2019, 57, 1744–1757

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