A supramolecular polymer based on tweezer-type pi-pi stacking interactions: molecular design for healability and enhanced toughness
Burattini, S., Greenland, B. W., Hayes, W., Mackay, M. E.,, Rowan, S. J. and Colquhoun, H. M. (2011) A supramolecular polymer based on tweezer-type pi-pi stacking interactions: molecular design for healability and enhanced toughness. Chemistry of Materials, 23 (1). pp. 6-8. ISSN 1520-5002
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To link to this article DOI: 10.1021/cm102963k
An elastomeric, healable, supramolecular polymer blend comprising a chain-folding polyimide and a telechelic polyurethane with pyrenyl end groups is compatibilized by aromatic pi-pi stacking between the pi-electron-deficient diimide groups and the pi-electron-rich pyrenyl units. This interpolymer interaction is the key to forming a tough, healable, elastomeric material. Variable-temperature FTIR analysis of the bulk material also conclusively demonstrates the presence of hydrogen bonding, which complements the pi-pi stacking interactions. Variable-temperature SAXS analysis shows that the healable polymeric blend has a nanophase-separated morphology and that the X-ray contrast between the two types of domain increases with increasing temperature, a feature that is repeatable over several heating and cooling cycles. A fractured sample of this material reproducibly regains more than 95% of the tensile modulus, 91% of the elongation to break, and 77% of the modulus of toughness of the pristine material.