Application of an Addition-Fragmentation-Chain Transfer Monomer in Di(meth)acrylate Network Formation to Reduce Polymerization Shrinkage Stress.
ABSTRACT: A new addition-fragmentation chain transfer (AFT) capable moiety was incorporated into a dimethacrylate monomer that participated readily in network formation by copolymerizing with multifunctional methacrylates or acrylates. The process of AFT occurred simultaneously with photopolymerization of the AFT monomer (AFM) and other (meth)acrylate monomers leading to polymer stress relaxation via network reconfiguration. At low loading levels of the AFM, a significant reduction in shrinkage stress, especially for acrylate monomers, was observed with nominal effects on conversion. At higher loading levels of the AFM, the photopolymerization reaction kinetics and final double bond conversion were significantly lowered along with a delay in the gel-point conversion. Electron paramagnetic resonance studies during polymerization revealed the presence of a distinct radical species that was present in proportional quantities to the AFM content in the system. The lifetime and the character of the persistent radicals were altered due to the presence of the distinctive radical, in turn affecting the polymerization kinetics. With polymerization conducted at higher irradiance, the differential conversion between the control resin and samples with moderate AFM content was minimal, especially for the methacrylate-based formulations.
Project description:The tremendous diversity of materials properties available with polymers is due in large part to the ability to design structures from the monomeric state. The ease of use of comonomer mixtures only expands this versatility. While final polymer properties are obviously important in the selection or development of a material for a given purpose, for a number of applications, such as optical fiber coatings, photolithography and microelectronics, the additional requirement of a very rapid polymerization process may be equally critical. A class of unusually reactive mono-(meth)acrylate monomers bearing secondary functionality that includes carbonates, carbamates and oxazolidones, has been demonstrated but not fully explained. Here, the influence of an integral cyclic carbonate functional group on (meth)acrylate photopolymerization kinetics is examined in detail with respect to monomers with a wide variety of alternative secondary functionality structure as well as in comparison to conventional mono- and di-(meth)acrylates. The kinetic results from full cure studies of several cyclic carbonate-containing monomers clearly highlight specific structural variations that effectively promote monomer reactivity. Copolymerizations with tetrahydrofurfuryl methacrylate reflect similar dramatic kinetic effects associated with the novel monomers while partial cure homopolymerization studies reveal exceptional dark cure behavior linked to observations of uncommonly low ratios of termination to propagation rates throughout the conversion profile. Temperature effects on reaction kinetics, including both reaction rate and the individual kinetic parameters, as well as the temperature dependence of hydrogen bonding interactions specifically involving the secondary functional groups are probed as a means to understand better the fundamentally interesting and practically important behavior of these monomers.
Project description:Block copolymers containing functionalized monomers, for example those containing charged groups, can be used for many purposes, one of which is the design of polymeric supramolecular materials based on electrostatic interactions. In this paper the synthesis of diblock copolymers and ABA-triblock copolymers containing poly(n-butyl acrylate) as a first or middle block and poly(2-(dimethylamino)ethyl acrylate), poly(1-ethoxyethyl acrylate) and poly(1-ethoxyethyl-2-carboxyethyl acrylate) as second or outer blocks, resulting in block copolymers that can contain positive or negative charges, is reported. The polymerizations were performed and optimized via one-pot sequential monomer addition reactions via Cu(0)-mediated polymerization using an automated parallel synthesizer. Different initiators, monomer concentrations and polymerization times were tested. While a bromide-containing initiator led to the best results for most monomers, when polymerizing 2-(dimethylamino)ethyl acrylate the use of a chloride-containing initiator was necessary. Due to the slower polymerization using this initiator, a longer polymerization time was needed before addition of the second monomer. Using the optimized conditions, the diblock and triblock copolymers could be synthesized with good control over molecular weight and dispersities around 1.1 were obtained.
Project description:Bulk photopolymerization of a library of synthesized multifunctional azides and alkynes was carried out toward developing structure-property relationships for CuAAC-based polymer networks. Multifunctional azides and alkynes were formulated with a copper catalyst and a photoinitiator, cured, and analyzed for their mechanical properties. Material properties such as the glass transition temperatures (Tg) show a strong dependence on monomer structure with Tg values ranging from 41 to 90 °C for the series of CuAAC monomers synthesized in this study. Compared to the triazoles, analogous thioether-based polymer networks exhibit a 45-49 °C lower Tg whereas analogous monomers composed of ethers in place of carbamates exhibit a 40 °C lower Tg. Here, the formation of the triazole moiety during the polymerization represents a critical component in dictating the material properties of the ultimate polymer network where material properties such as the rubbery modulus, cross-link density, and Tg all exhibit strong dependence on polymerization conversion, monomer composition, and structure postgelation.
Project description:Photoinitiation of polymerizations based on the copper(i)-catalyzed azide-alkyne cycloaddition (CuAAC) reaction enables spatio-temporal control and the formation of mechanically robust, highly glassy photopolymers. Here, we investigated several critical factors influencing photo-CuAAC polymerization kinetics via systematic variation of reaction conditions such as the physicochemical nature of the monomers; the copper salt and photoinitiator types and concentrations; light intensity; exposure time and solvent content. Real time Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (FTIR) was used to monitor the polymerization kinetics in situ. Six different di-functional azide monomers and four different tri-functional alkyne monomers containing either aliphatic, aromatic, ether and/or carbamate substituents were synthesized and polymerized. Replacing carbamate structures with ether moieties in the monomers enabled an increase in conversion from 65% to 90% under similar irradiation conditions. The carbamate results in stiffer monomers and higher viscosity mixtures indicating that chain mobility and diffusion are key factors that determine the CuAAC network formation kinetics. Photoinitiation rates were manipulated by altering various aspects of the photo-reduction step; ultimately, a loading above 3 mol% per functional group for both the copper catalyst and the photoinitiator showed little or no rate dependence on concentration while a loading below 3 mol% exhibited 1st order rate dependence. Furthermore, a photoinitiating system consisting of camphorquinone resulted in 60% conversion in the dark after only 1 minute of 75 mW cm-2 light exposure at 400-500 nm, highlighting a unique characteristic of the CuAAC photopolymerization enabled by the combination of the copper(i)'s catalytic lifetime and the nature of the step-growth polymerization.
Project description:Polydimethylsiloxane (PDMS) is a silicone elastomer-based material that is used in various applications, including coatings, tubing, microfluidics, and medical implants. PDMS has been modified with hydrogel coatings to prevent fouling, which can be done through UV-mediated free radical polymerization using benzophenone. However, to the best of our knowledge, the properties of hydrogel coatings and their influence on the bulk properties of PDMS under various preparation conditions, such as the type and concentration of monomers, and UV treatment time, have never been investigated. Acrylate-based monomers were used to perform free radical polymerization on PDMS surfaces under various reaction conditions. This approach provides insights into the relationship between the hydrogel coating and bulk properties of PDMS. Altering the UV polymerization time and the monomer concentration resulted in different morphologies with different roughness and thickness of the hydrogel coating, as well as differences in the bulk material stiffness. The surface morphology of the coated PDMS was characterized by AFM. The cross section and thickness of the coatings were examined using scanning electron microscopy coupled with energy-dispersive X-ray spectroscopy. The dependence of coating development on the monomer type and concentration used was evaluated by surface hydrophilicity, as measured by water contact angle. Elongation-until-break analysis revealed that specific reaction conditions affected the bulk properties and made the coated PDMS brittle. Therefore, boundary conditions have been identified to enable high quality hydrogel coating formation without affecting the bulk properties of the material.
Project description:Developing medical devices that resist bacterial attachment and subsequent biofilm formation is highly desirable. In this paper, we report the optimization of the molecular structure and thus material properties of a range of (meth)acrylate copolymers which contain monomers reported to deliver bacterial resistance to surfaces. This optimization allows such monomers to be employed within novel coatings to reduce bacterial attachment to silicone urinary catheters. We show that the flexibility of copolymers can be tuned to match that of the silicone catheter substrate, by copolymerizing these polymers with a lower Tg monomer such that it passes the flexing fatigue tests as coatings upon catheters, that the homopolymers failed. Furthermore, the Tg values of the copolymers are shown to be readily estimated by the Fox equation. The bacterial resistance performance of these copolymers were typically found to be better than the neat silicone or a commercial silver containing hydrogel surface, when the monomer feed contained only 25 v% of the "hit" monomer. The method of initiation (either photo or thermal) was shown not to affect the bacterial resistance of the copolymers. Optimized synthesis conditions to ensure that the correct copolymer composition and to prevent the onset of gelation are detailed.
Project description:When designing hydrogels for tissue regeneration, differences in polymerization mechanism and network structure have the potential to impact cellular behavior. Poly(ethylene glycol) hydrogels were formed by free-radical photopolymerization of acrylates (chain-growth) or thiol-norbornenes (step-growth) to investigate the impact of hydrogel system (polymerization mechanism and network structure) on the development of engineered tissue. Bovine chondrocytes were encapsulated in hydrogels and cultured under free swelling or dynamic compressive loading. In the acrylate system immediately after encapsulation chondrocytes exhibited high levels of intracellular ROS concomitant with a reduction in hydrogel compressive modulus and higher variability in cell deformation upon compressive strain; findings that were not observed in the thiol-norbornene system. Long-term the quantity of sulfated glycosaminoglycans and total collagen was greater in the acrylate system, but the quality resembled that of hypertrophic cartilage with positive staining for aggrecan, collagens I, II, and X and collagen catabolism. The thiol-norbornene system led to hyaline-like cartilage production especially under mechanical loading with positive staining for aggrecan and collagen II and minimal staining for collagens I and X and collagen catabolism. Findings from this study confirm that the polymerization mechanism and network structure have long-term effects on the quality of engineered cartilage, especially under mechanical loading.
Project description:Droplet microfluidics has enabled the synthesis of polymeric particles with controlled sizes, shell thickness, and morphologies. Here, we report the Janus to core-shell structural evolution of biphasic droplets formed in a microfluidic flow-focusing device (MFFD) for the synthesis of polymer microcapsules with oil core/thickness-tunable shell via off-chip photo- and thermally induced polymerization. First, nanoliter-sized biphasic Janus droplets comprising an acrylate monomer and silicone oil were generated in a co-flowing aqueous polyvinyl alcohol (PVA) solution in an MFFD on a glass chip. Immediately following their break-off, the produced Janus droplets started to change their geometry from Janus to core-shell structure comprising a single silicone-oil core and an acrylate-monomer shell by the minimization of interfacial energy. Thus, we could produce monodisperse core-shell drops with average diameters of 105-325 ?m, coefficient of variation (CV) values of 1.0-4.5%, and shell thickness of 1-67 ?m. Subsequently, these drops were synthesized to fabricate polymeric microcapsules with tunable shell thickness via photo- and thermally induced polymerization. By increasing the concentration of the photo- and thermal initiator, we successfully produced thinner and ultra-thin shell (800?nm thickness) microcapsules. The surface structure of resulting particles was smooth in photopolymerization and porous in thermal polymerization.
Project description:We report on an experimental investigation of spatial frequency responses of anisotropic transmission refractive index gratings formed in holographic polymer dispersed liquid crystals (HPDLCs). We studied two different types of HPDLC materials employing two different monomer systems: one with acrylate monomer capable of radical mediated chain-growth polymerizations and the other with thiol-ene monomer capable of step-growth polymerizations. It was found that the photopolymerization kinetics of the two HPDLC materials could be well explained by the autocatalytic model. We also measured grating-spacing dependences of anisotropic refractive index gratings at a recording wavelength of 532 nm. It was found that the HPDLC material with the thiol-ene monomer gave higher spatial frequency responses than that with the acrylate monomer. Statistical thermodynamic simulation suggested that such a spatial frequency dependence was attributed primarily to a difference in the size of formed liquid crystal droplets due to different photopolymerization mechanisms.
Project description:A series of functional nanogels were synthesized by a step-growth mechanism that involved diisocyanate addition to a modest stoichiometric excess of multi-thiols. Nanogels with sizes less than 10 nm were obtained as room temperature liquids with residual thiol groups used to attach methacrylate functionality. Depending on nanogel structure, bulk nanogel properties varied widely, as did the properties of the nanogel-derived and nanogel-modified polymers. Photopolymerization of the reactive nanogels in combination with a dimethacrylate monomer showed dramatically enhanced reaction rate and conversion compared with the dimethacrylate homopolymer. Polymerization shrinkage/ stress as well as mechanical properties of the polymer networks were controlled by changing the ratio of nanogels and dimethacrylate monomers used in formulations. Thus, this study shows the potential of step-growth nanogels for beneficial changes in resin reactivity and application-based performance.