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Epoxy Resin-Inspired Reconfigurable Supramolecular Networks

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posted on 10.10.2016 by Diederik W. R. Balkenende, Rebecca A. Olson, Sandor Balog, Christoph Weder, Lucas Montero de Espinosa
With the goal to push the mechanical properties of reconfigurable supramolecular polymers toward those of thermoset resins, we prepared and investigated a new family of hydrogen-bonded polymer networks that are assembled from isophthalic acid-terminated oligo­(bisphenol A-co-epichlorohydrin) and different bipyridines. These materials display high storage moduli of up to 3.9 GPa, can be disassembled upon heating to form melts with a viscosity of as low as 2.1 Pa·s, and fully reassemble upon cooling. We show that the new polymers can readily be reconfigured, reprocessed, or recycled and that the reversible (dis)­assembly makes them useful as hot-melt adhesives that permit debonding on demand.