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Intramolecularly Catalyzed Dynamic Polyester Networks Using Neighboring Carboxylic and Sulfonic Acid Groups

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journal contribution
posted on 06.02.2020, 14:36 by Huiyi Zhang, Soumabrata Majumdar, Rolf A. T. M. van Benthem, Rint P. Sijbesma, Johan P. A. Heuts
Dynamic covalent bonds in a polymer network lead to plasticity, reshapability, and potential recyclability at elevated temperatures in combination with solvent-resistance and better dimensional stability at lower temperatures. Here we report a simple one-step procedure for the catalyst-free preparation and intramolecularly catalyzed stress-relaxation of dynamic polyester networks. The procedure is based on the coupling of branched OH-end functional polyesters (functionality ≥ 3) by pyromellitic dianhydride (PMDA) or 2,5-bis­(methoxy-carbonyl) benzenesulfonic acid resulting in ester linkages with, respectively, a COOH or a SO3H group in a position ortho to the ester bond. This approach leads to an efficient external catalyst-free dynamic polyester network, in which the topology rearrangements occur via a dissociative mechanism involving anhydrides. The SO3H-containing network is particularly interesting, as it shows the fastest stress relaxation and does not suffer from unwanted additional transesterification reactions, as was observed in the COOH-containing network.