Polymer chemistry

  • Article
    | Open Access

    By now a plethora of ultrathin hydrophobic coatings are available but their durability are not well developed. Here, the authors present a thin, durable and fluorine-free PDMS-based vitrimer coating that implements many desirable aspects like energy efficiency, durability and sustainability.

    • Jingcheng Ma
    • , Laura E. Porath
    •  & Christopher M. Evans
  • Article
    | Open Access

    The limited strength of green parts have been a major hurdle in the Binder Jet Additive Manufacturing. Here the authors apply polyethyleneimine binder to print silica sand structures with double the flexural strength of green parts and 8-fold increase in the strength upon reactive infiltration.

    • Dustin B. Gilmer
    • , Lu Han
    •  & Tomonori Saito
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Rapid growth of highly crystalline Covalent organic framework (COF) materials remains challenging. Here, the authors accelerate single-crystal polymerization using supercritical CO2 and realize the fabrication of two-dimensional COF single crystals within several minutes.

    • Lan Peng
    • , Qianying Guo
    •  & Dacheng Wei
  • Article
    | Open Access

    The morphology of semicrystalline plastics on the 1-100 μm scale, such as spherulites, strongly affect mechanical and other properties of the material but currently only 2D imaging techniques are available. Here, the authors use fluorescence labels and confocal microscopy to visualize the internal structure of neat polymers and composites in 3D and reveal unsuspected morphologies.

    • Shu-Gui Yang
    • , Zhen-Zhen Wei
    •  & Goran Ungar
  • Article
    | Open Access

    For many polymers, recycling via mechanical processes is not feasible and these materials are destined for landfills or incineration. Here the authors show an open-loop recycling method for superabsorbent polymers that involves decrosslinking via hydrolysis, an optional chain-shortening step via sonication, and functionalizing via Fischer esterification.

    • P. Takunda Chazovachii
    • , Madeline J. Somers
    •  & Anne J. McNeil
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Glass is indispensable but its processing options are limited. Here the authors extend origami techniques to shaping three-dimensional transparent glass by introducing physical cavitation and chemical dynamic bond exchange in the pre-glass polymer-silica nanocomposites.

    • Yang Xu
    • , Ye Li
    •  & Tao Xie
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Despite their great utility in synthetic and materials chemistry, Diels-Alder and retro Diels-Alder reactions have been vastly unexplored in promoting self-assembly processes. Here the authors show the release of steric bulkiness associated with a bridged bicyclic Diels Alder adduct by the retro Diels-Alder reaction that allowed generation of two building blocks that spontaneously self-assembled to form a supramolecular polymer.

    • Jaeyoung Park
    • , Jung-Moo Heo
    •  & Jong-Man Kim
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Shape memory scaffolds are needed for minimally invasive tissue repair and void filling. Here the authors report on the development of 4D printed polycarbonate-based scaffolds with surface degradation properties which fill voids without deforming tissue and allow for tissue ingrowth with reduced immune response.

    • Andrew C. Weems
    • , Maria C. Arno
    •  & Andrew P. Dove
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Despite the ubiquity of singlet carbenes in chemistry, their utility as true monomeric building blocks for the synthesis of functional organic polymers has been underexplored. Here the authors show mono- and bis-acyclic amino(aryl)carbenes selectively dimerize to form diaminoalkenes and hitherto unknown amino-containing poly(p-phenylene vinylene)s.

    • Quentin Sobczak
    • , Aravindu Kunche
    •  & Joan Vignolle
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Extension of nanostructure fabrication in the single-nm regime is a promising but fabrication of nanostructures with high aspect ratios remains challenging. Here, the authors use high energy charged particles to produce free-standing 1D organic nanostructures with extremely high aspect ratios and controlled number density.

    • Koshi Kamiya
    • , Kazuto Kayama
    •  & Shu Seki
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Minimally invasive materials that match tissues mechanical properties are needed for biomedical applications. Here, the authors report on brush-like polymers which can be injected and cured in situ, resulting in elastomeric implants which mechanically blend with surrounding tissue and show minimal foreign body response.

    • Erfan Dashtimoghadam
    • , Farahnaz Fahimipour
    •  & Sergei S. Sheiko
  • Review Article
    | Open Access

    Improving catalyst performance for ring-opening (co)polymerisation (RO(CO)P) reactions by using heterometallic cooperativity is a promising yet underexplored strategy. Here the authors review advances in heterometallic RO(CO)P catalyst design, highlighting the overarching structure-activity trends and reactivity patterns to inform future catalyst design.

    • Weronika Gruszka
    •  & Jennifer A. Garden
  • Article
    | Open Access

    The poor bench stability of phosphoramidites is a drawback for fast automised chemical oligonucleotide synthesis. Here, the authors report a method for on-demand flow synthesis of phosphoramidites within short reaction times, in near-quantitative yields and sufficient purity for integration with DNA synthesizers.

    • Alexander F. Sandahl
    • , Thuy J. D. Nguyen
    •  & Kurt V. Gothelf
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Semi-conducting two-dimensional polymer nanoobjects are promising materials but examples of self-assembled 2D nanosheets with controlled dimensions has not been shown before. Here, the authors precisely tune the length of 2D sheets of conjugated polymers by using blending, heating, and seeded-growth strategies.

    • Sanghee Yang
    • , Sung-Yun Kang
    •  & Tae-Lim Choi
  • Article
    | Open Access

    The development of n-type conductive polymer inks is critical for the development of next-generation opto-electronic devices that rely on efficient hole and electron transport. Here, the authors report an alcohol-based, high performance and stable n-type conductive ink for printed electronics.

    • Chi-Yuan Yang
    • , Marc-Antoine Stoeckel
    •  & Simone Fabiano
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Identifying optimal materials in multiobjective optimization problems represents a challenge for new materials design approaches. Here the authors develop an active-learning algorithm to optimize the Pareto-optimal solutions successfully applied to the in silico polymer design for a dispersant-based application.

    • Kevin Maik Jablonka
    • , Giriprasad Melpatti Jothiappan
    •  & Brian Yoo
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Though polymer memristors are promising for low‐power flexible edge computing applications, realizing efficient nanometer‐scale arrays remains a challenge. Here, the authors report a record high 90% production yield in nm‐scale 2D conjugated polymer memristors with homogeneous resistive switching.

    • Bin Zhang
    • , Weilin Chen
    •  & Yu Chen
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Predicting the conversion and selectivity of a photochemical reactions is challenging. Here, the authors introduce a framework for the quantitative prediction of the time-dependent progress of a photoligation reaction and predict LED-light induced conversion through a wavelength-resolved numerical simulation.

    • Jan P. Menzel
    • , Benjamin B. Noble
    •  & Christopher Barner-Kowollik
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Photoluminescence printing is a widely applied anticounterfeiting technique but there are still challenges in developing new generation anticounterfeiting materials providing a high security level. Here, the authors demonstrate coordination dependent photochromic luminescence in a supramolecular coordination polyelectrolyte for multiple information authentication.

    • Zhiqiang Li
    • , Xiao Liu
    •  & Yanli Zhao
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Switching mechanical properties in stiff bioinspired nanocomposites is challenging as they contain high fractions of hard reinforcements. Here, the authors demonstrate reversible electrical switching in highly-reinforced cellulose nanopapers using an applied low direct current.

    • Dejin Jiao
    • , Francisco Lossada
    •  & Andreas Walther
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Strong self-healing materials with high healing efficiency are of great use in many fields but their fabrication is extremely challenging. Here, the authors present a robust self-healing material by incorporating high density noncovalent bonds at the interfaces between dentritic tannic acid-modified tungsten disulfide nanosheets and a polyurethane matrix to collectively produce a strong interfacial interaction.

    • Yuyan Wang
    • , Xin Huang
    •  & Xinxing Zhang
  • Article
    | Open Access

    The recent advances in accelerated polymerization of N-carboxyanhydrides (NCAs) enrich the toolbox to prepare well-defined polypeptide materials. Here the authors use crown ethers to catalyze the polymerization of NCA initiated by conventional primary amine initiators in solvents with low polarity and low hydrogen-bonding ability.

    • Yingchun Xia
    • , Ziyuan Song
    •  & Jianjun Cheng
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Self-healing materials strive to emulate curable and resilient biological tissue but their performance is often insufficient for commercial applications because self-healing and toughening are mutually exclusive properties. Here, the authors report a tough and strong carbonate-type thermoplastic polyurethane elastomer that self-heals at ambient temperature.

    • Youngho Eom
    • , Seon-Mi Kim
    •  & Dongyeop X. Oh
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Photomediated-reversible-deactivation radical polymerisation has a limited scope of available photocatalysts due to multiple stringent requirements of properties. Here the authors show, an oxygen-mediated reductive quenching pathway for photoinduced electron transfer reversible addition-fragmentation chain transfer polymerisation.

    • Chenyu Wu
    • , Kenward Jung
    •  & Cyrille Boyer
  • Article
    | Open Access

    The creation of biomaterials which are resorbable and have biomimetic mechanical properties is key to successful tissue engineering. Here the authors report on the creation of a new biopolymer where the mechanical properties can be tuned by changing the ratios of cis:trans double bonds in the backbone.

    • Mary Beth Wandel
    • , Craig A. Bell
    •  & Matthew L. Becker
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Organocatalytic atom transfer radical polymerization (O-ATRP) is attractive due to its metal-free nature but catalysts are rarely applied at a low loading. Here the authors introduce a catalyst design logic based on heteroatom-doping of polycyclic arenes, which led to the discovery of oxygen-doped anthanthrene as an organic photoredox catalysts for O-ATRP.

    • Qiang Ma
    • , Jinshuai Song
    •  & Saihu Liao
  • Article
    | Open Access

    There still remains a big challenge in fabricating highly efficient and low-cost radiative coolers for all-day and all-climates. Here, the authors report a hierarchically structured polymethyl methacrylate film with a micropore array combined with random nanopores for highly efficient day- and nighttime passive radiative cooling.

    • Tong Wang
    • , Yi Wu
    •  & Limin Wu
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Residual stress in crystalline polymers can lead to material failure, but currently methods which can quantify residual stress in such materials are lacking. Here, by using fluorescent-type mechanochromophores, the authors develop a method to visualize and quantify low degrees of stress that arises from micro-mechanical forces during polymer crystallization.

    • Sota Kato
    • , Shigeki Furukawa
    •  & Hideyuki Otsuka
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Structure and morphology are critical to the performance of permeable and selective polyamide membranes in water purification. Here, the authors report a two layer asymmetric polyamide nanofilm in which a spherical polyamide dendrimer porous lower and a polyamide dense upper layer form hierarchical nanovoids.

    • Bingbing Yuan
    • , Shengchao Zhao
    •  & Q. Jason Niu
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Self-healing of polymers became a vivid research area, but self-healing under water and its mechanistic concepts are less investigated. Here, the authors report water accelerated self-healing in a pMMA/nBA copolymer and demonstrate that perturbation of ubiquitous van der Walls forces upon mechanical damage in hydrophobic polymers in the presence of water is energetically unfavorable and accelerates self-healing.

    • Dmitriy Davydovich
    •  & Marek W. Urban
  • Article
    | Open Access

    The use of solid particles to stabilize Pickering emulsions is a particularly attractive avenue, but oxygen sensitivity remains an obstacle in controlled polymerization reactions. Here, the authors show that lignin nanoparticles coated with chitosan and glucose oxidase enable efficient stabilization of Pickering emulsion and in situ enzymatic degassing of living radical polymerization.

    • Adrian Moreno
    •  & Mika H. Sipponen
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Wet-dry cycling is thought to have enabled the production of molecular building blocks of life. Here, the authors investigate the impact of dehydration/rehydration on RNA-containing complex coacervates, which are membraneless compartments formed by phase separation of polyelectrolyte solutions.

    • Hadi M. Fares
    • , Alexander E. Marras
    •  & Christine D. Keating
  • Article
    | Open Access

    The mechanical degradation of polymers is typically limited to a single chain scission event and the loss of stress transfer during the scission process limits the extent of degradation achieved. Here, the authors report a mechanically triggered, delayed scission strategy that allows many eventual scission events to be initiated within a single polymer chain.

    • Yangju Lin
    • , Tatiana B. Kouznetsova
    •  & Stephen L. Craig
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Tough hydrogels capable of efficient mechanical energy dissipation are difficult to be patterned and/or printed which limits their application. Here the authors show a one-step, biocompatible and general strategy to prepare tough soft hydrogels with high-resolution 2D/3D microstructures quickly under mild conditions.

    • Cong Wang
    • , Ping Zhang
    •  & You Yu
  • Article
    | Open Access

    A key challenge in the self-assembly of block copolymers is obtaining independent control over molecular structure and hierarchical structure in all dimensions using scalable one-pot chemistry. Here the authors show the ring opening polymerization-induced crystallization-driven self-assembly of poly-L-lactide-block-polyethylene glycol block copolymers into 1D, 2D and 3D nanostructures.

    • Paul J. Hurst
    • , Alexander M. Rakowski
    •  & Joseph P. Patterson
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Perovskite nanocrystals are promising emitters but suffer from environmental instabilities. Here, Park et al. introduce aromatic nonpolar organogels as a soft passivating matrix of perovskites, demonstrating highly efficient and environmentally stable luminescent nanocomposites.

    • Jae-Man Park
    • , Jinwoo Park
    •  & Jeong-Yun Sun
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Light gated reactions are important due to their spatial and temporal control over the chemical processes but long wavelength activation of photocycloaddition reactions are rare. Here the authors introduce a green light induced [2+2] cycloaddition of a halochromic system, which allows for its photo-reactivity to be switched on and off by adjusting the pH of the system.

    • Kubra Kalayci
    • , Hendrik Frisch
    •  & Christopher Barner-Kowollik