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Issue 29, 2017
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Liquid crystalline epoxy networks with exchangeable disulfide bonds

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A liquid crystalline epoxy network (LCEN) with exchangeable disulfide bonds is synthesized by polymerizing a biphenyl-based epoxy monomer with an aliphatic dicarboxylic acid curing agent containing a disulfide bond. The effect of disulfide bonds on curing behavior and liquid crystalline (LC) phase formation of the LCEN is investigated. The presence of the disulfide bonds results in an increase in the reaction rate, leading to a reduction in liquid crystallinity of the LCEN. In order to promote LC phase formation and stabilize the self-assembled LC domains, a similar aliphatic dicarboxylic acid without the disulfide bond is used as a co-curing agent to reduce the amount of exchangeable disulfide bonds in the system. After optimizing the molar ratio of the two curing agents, the resulting LCEN exhibits improved reprocessability and recyclability because of the disulfide exchange reactions, while preserving LC properties, such as the reversible LC phase transition and macroscopic LC orientation, for shape memory applications.

Graphical abstract: Liquid crystalline epoxy networks with exchangeable disulfide bonds

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Publication details

The article was received on 09 May 2017, accepted on 08 Jun 2017 and first published on 09 Jun 2017

Article type: Paper
DOI: 10.1039/C7SM00934H
Citation: Soft Matter, 2017,13, 5021-5027
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    Liquid crystalline epoxy networks with exchangeable disulfide bonds

    Y. Li, Y. Zhang, O. Rios, J. K. Keum and M. R. Kessler, Soft Matter, 2017, 13, 5021
    DOI: 10.1039/C7SM00934H

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