Photoinduced inverse vulcanization

Jia, Jinhong, Liu, Jingjiang, Wang, Zhi-Qiang, Liu, Tao, Yan, Peiyao ORCID: 0000-0001-7377-1808, Gong, Xue-Qing, Zhao, Chengxi, Chen, Linjiang, Miao, Congcong, Zhao, Wei ORCID: 0000-0003-0265-2590
et al (show 6 more authors) (2022) Photoinduced inverse vulcanization. Nature Chemistry, 14 (11). 1249-+.

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The inverse vulcanization (IV) of elemental sulfur to generate sulfur-rich functional polymers has attracted much recent attention. However, the harsh reaction conditions required, even with metal catalysts, constrains the range of feasible crosslinkers. We report here a photoinduced IV that enables reaction at ambient temperatures, greatly broadening the scope for both substrates and products. These conditions enable volatile and gaseous alkenes and alkynes to be used in IV, leading to sustainable alternatives for environmentally harmful plastics that were hitherto inaccessible. Density functional theory calculations reveal different energy barriers for thermal, catalytic and photoinduced IV processes. This protocol circumvents the long curing times that are common in IV, generates no H<sub>2</sub>S by-products, and produces high-molecular-weight polymers (up to 460,000 g mol<sup>-1</sup>) with almost 100% atom economy. This photoinduced IV strategy advances both the fundamental chemistry of IV and its potential industrial application to generate materials from waste feedstocks.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: Sulfur, Alkenes, Polymers, Plastics, Catalysis
Depositing User: Symplectic Admin
Date Deposited: 28 Oct 2022 07:36
Last Modified: 27 Apr 2023 01:30
DOI: 10.1038/s41557-022-01049-1
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