Magnetically activated adhesives: towards on-demand magnetic triggering of selected polymerisation reactions†
On-demand initiation of chemical reactions is becoming increasingly popular in many areas. The use of a magnetic field to trigger reactions is an intriguing concept, with vast potential in both research and industrial settings, though it remains a challenge as yet unsolved. Here we report the first example of on-demand magnetic activation of a polymerisation process using an anaerobic adhesive formulation as an example of this new approach toward triggering polymerisation reactions using an external magnetic field. Our strategy involves the use of a colloidal system comprising functional methacrylate ester monomers, peroxide and CuII-salt as polymerisation initiators and magnetic nanoparticles coated with an oxidising shell. This unique combination prevents reduction of the reactive transition metal (CuII) ion by the metal substrates (steel or aluminium) to be joined – hence inhibiting the redox radical initiated cationic polymerisation reaction and efficiently preventing adhesion. The polymerisation and corresponding adhesion process can be triggered by removal of the functional magnetic particles using a permanent external magnet either prior to formulation application or at the joint to be adhered, enabling the polymerisation to proceed through CuII-mediated reduction. This new approach enables on-demand magnetically-triggered reaction initiation and holds potential for a range of useful applications in chemistry, materials science and relevant industrial manufacturing.