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Anilinium Salts in Polymer Networks for Materials with Mechanical Stability and Mild Thermally Induced Dynamic Properties

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journal contribution
posted on 2019-01-07, 19:34 authored by Progyateg Chakma, Zachary A. Digby, Max P. Shulman, Leah R. Kuhn, Colleen N. Morley, Jessica L. Sparks, Dominik Konkolewicz
Dynamic nucleophilic exchange of quaternary anilinium salts has been incorporated into rehealable and malleable polymeric materials that can be activated under mild (60 °C) thermal stimulus. The mechanism of dynamic exchange between quaternary anilinium salt and free aniline was assessed in small-molecule model experiments. The dynamic exchange was found to be dissociative in nature, due to the indirect SN2 mechanism, where initially the bromide anion attacks the anilinium salt to generate an alkyl bromide which undergoes subsequent attack by a free aniline group. A quaternary anilinium-based cross-linker was synthesized to act as dynamic linkages in the polymer network. Cross-linked polymeric materials showed thermoresponsive rehealing and malleability properties at 60 °C along with being resistant to irreversible creep under ambient conditions. The use of anilinium salts enables dynamic exchange to occur with significantly milder thermal stimulus than other comparable materials, while maintaining mechanical stability.