Controlling polymer debonding/rebonding properties using responsive materials is an exciting emerging area of chemistry and it is widely accepted that control of these properties can be achieved by engineering the functional end-groups responsible for monomer dynamic bonding.
Scientists in Germany and Australia report that the control of the bonding/debonding properties in materials obtained by Diels–Alder reactions between difunctional polymeric building blocks can also be governed by entropy considerations such as chain length and branching of the building blocks. They have shown this theoretically and experimentally for two Diels–Alder polymer systems, each based on a different difunctional diene and a common difunctional dienophile.
This interesting finding will help polymer and materials chemists transform the approach they take to designing reversibly/dynamically bonding materials and could aid the development of self-healing materials.
Read this ‘HOT’ Chemical Science article, hot off the press:
Harnessing entropy to direct the bonding/debonding of polymer systems based on reversible chemistry
N K Guimard et al, Chem. Sci., 2013, DOI: 10.1039/c3sc50642h