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Synthesis of New Thermoplastic Elastomers by Silver Nanoparticles as Cross-Linker

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journal contribution
posted on 28.06.2011, 00:00 by Stefan Bokern, Ziyin Fan, Claudia Mattheis, Andreas Greiner, Seema Agarwal
A novel type of elastomers with silver nanoparticles (AgNP) as cross-linkers has been obtained by a quantitative one-phase bottom-up procedure based on α,ω-dimercapto-poly(cis-1,4-isoprene) (PIP). This telechelic polymer with high cis-content of >80% and near-quantitative functionalization degree has been synthesized in a one-pot procedure by anionic polymerization. It was cross-linked by coordination of the thiol groups to in-situ synthesized AgNP to yield a repeatedly melt-processable elastomer. It was found that the E-modulus increased up to an ideal ratio of AgNP to PIP and decreases drastically with AgNP oversaturation due to decreasing cross-linking density. Swelling experiments were in agreement with these results. The cross-linking of telechelic polymers with metal nanoparticles has been applied to other metals and polymers, leading to cross-linked materials in all cases. Antibacterial properties of the silver-containing elastomers were found by the Kirby–Bauer test.