Experimental Polymer Mechanochemistry and its Interpretational Frameworks

Akbulatov, Sergey and Boulatov, Roman ORCID: 0000-0002-7601-4279
(2017) Experimental Polymer Mechanochemistry and its Interpretational Frameworks. CHEMPHYSCHEM, 18 (11). pp. 1422-1450.

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Polymer mechanochemistry is an emerging field at the interface of chemistry, materials science, physics and engineering. It aims at understanding and exploiting unique reactivities of polymer chains confined to highly non-equilibrium stretched geometries by interactions with their surroundings. Macromolecular chains or their segments become stretched in bulk polymers under mechanical loads or when polymer solutions are sonicated or flow rapidly through abrupt contractions. An increasing amount of empirical data suggests that mechanochemical phenomena are widespread wherever polymers are used. In the past decade, empirical mechanochemistry has progressed enormously, from studying fragmentations of commodity polymers by simple backbone homolysis to demonstrations of self-strengthening and stress-reporting materials and mechanochemical cascades using purposefully designed monomers. This progress has not yet been matched by the development of conceptual frameworks within which to rationalize, systematize and generalize empirical mechanochemical observations. As a result, mechanistic and/or quantitative understanding of mechanochemical phenomena remains, with few exceptions, tentative. In this review we aim at systematizing reported macroscopic manifestations of polymer mechanochemistry, and critically assessing the interpretational framework that underlies their molecular rationalizations from a physical chemist's perspective. We propose a hierarchy of mechanochemical phenomena which may guide the development of multiscale models of mechanochemical reactivity to match the breadth and utility of the Eyring equation of chemical kinetics. We discuss the limitations of the approaches to quantifying and validating mechanochemical reactivity, with particular focus on sonicated polymer solutions, in order to identify outstanding questions that need to be solved for polymer mechanochemistry to become a rigorous, quantitative field. We conclude by proposing 7 problems whose solution may have a disproportionate impact on the development of polymer mechanochemistry.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: force, kinetics, mechanochemistry, polymers, sonication
Depositing User: Symplectic Admin
Date Deposited: 10 Mar 2017 10:13
Last Modified: 19 Jan 2023 07:14
DOI: 10.1002/cphc.201601354
Related URLs:
URI: https://livrepository.liverpool.ac.uk/id/eprint/3006310