Polycatenanes: synthesis, characterization, and physical understanding†
Chemical composition and architecture are two key factors that control the physical and material properties of polymers. Some of the more unusual and intriguing polymer architectures are the polycatenanes, which are a class of polymers that contain mechanically interlocked rings. Since the development of high yielding synthetic routes to catenanes, there has been an interest in accessing their polymeric counterparts, primarily on account of the unique conformations and degrees of freedom offered by non-bonded interlocked rings. This has lead to the synthesis of a wide variety of polycatenane architectures and to studies aimed at developing structure–property relationships of these interesting materials. In this review, we provide an overview of the field of polycatenanes, exploring synthesis, architecture, properties, simulation, and modelling, with a specific focus on some of the more recent developments.
- This article is part of the themed collection: Mechanically Interlocked Materials