One-shot transformation of ordinary polyesters into vitrimers: decomposition-triggered cross-linking and assistance of dynamic covalent bonds†
Vitrimers are a new type of cross-linked material showing sustainable functions due to the associative bond exchange nature. In this study, we explore one-shot transformation of ordinary polyesters into vitrimers by only heating the mixture of a polyester, tetra-epoxy compound, and trans-esterification catalyst, where the original polyester does not bear any reactive groups initially. Detailed analyses reveal that three distinct steps of hydrolysis, epoxy-opening, and trans-esterification reactions are involved in the present cross-linking mechanism, which is thus much different from the conventional cross-linking reaction. Consequently, a fully cross-linked vitrimer with a gel fraction of about 100% was obtained.
- This article is part of the themed collection: Journal of Materials Chemistry A HOT Papers