Issue 30, 2021

Controllable growth of interpenetrating or random copolymer networks

Abstract

Interpenetrating and random copolymer networks are vital in a number of industrial applications, including the fabrication of automotive parts, damping materials, and tissue engineering scaffolds. We develop a theoretical model for a process that enables the controlled growth of interpenetrating network (IPNs), or a random copolymer network (RCN) of specified size and mechanical properties. In this process, a primary gel “seed” is immersed into a solution containing the secondary monomer and crosslinkers. After the latter species are absorbed into the primary network, the absorbed monomers are polymerized to form the secondary polymer chains, which then can undergo further crosslinking to form an IPN, or undergo inter-chain exchange with the existing network to form a RCN. The swelling and elastic properties of the IPN and RCN networks can be tailored by modifying the monomer and crosslinker concentrations in the surrounding solution, or by tuning the enthalpic interactions between the primary polymer, secondary monomer and solvent through a proper choice of chemistry. This process can be used repeatedly to fabricate gels with a range of mechanical properties from stiff, rigid materials to soft, flexible networks, allowing the method to meet the materials requirements of a variety of applications.

Graphical abstract: Controllable growth of interpenetrating or random copolymer networks

Supplementary files

Article information

Article type
Paper
Submitted
25 Apr 2021
Accepted
08 Jul 2021
First published
09 Jul 2021

Soft Matter, 2021,17, 7177-7187

Controllable growth of interpenetrating or random copolymer networks

R. Chatterjee, S. Biswas, V. V. Yashin, M. Aizenberg, J. Aizenberg and A. C. Balazs, Soft Matter, 2021, 17, 7177 DOI: 10.1039/D1SM00611H

To request permission to reproduce material from this article, please go to the Copyright Clearance Center request page.

If you are an author contributing to an RSC publication, you do not need to request permission provided correct acknowledgement is given.

If you are the author of this article, you do not need to request permission to reproduce figures and diagrams provided correct acknowledgement is given. If you want to reproduce the whole article in a third-party publication (excluding your thesis/dissertation for which permission is not required) please go to the Copyright Clearance Center request page.

Read more about how to correctly acknowledge RSC content.

Social activity

Spotlight

Advertisements