University of Colorado Boulder Background
Linear or thermoplastic polymers are polymers that consist of long chains or strings of repeating units. These types of materials can be heated, allowing the polymer chains to slide over each other and be re-molded or re-processed. Thermosets on the other hand, form crosslinked bonds between the chains or branch out into a network like structure. Upon heating, the chains cannot slide over each other and are not re-processable, but have the advantage of thermal and chemical integrity.
Researchers at Colorado Boulder have developed a method for the generation of high molecular weight polymers in an efficient, rapid, and facile manner by combining monomer AA and monomer BB to produce materials comparable to existing engineering polymers. The moduli and mechanical properties of the material can be tailored by varying the AA and BB monomer structures (many varieties are commercially available). Finally, incorporating Covalent Adaptable Network (CAN) chemistries allow for a bridge between thermosets. A stimuli can be applied that breaks the crosslinks holding the chains together and preventing them from sliding across each other. Upon removal of the stimulus the bonds reform, creating a material with thermal and chemical integrity in addition to recyclability ().
Stage of Development
Proof of concept.
Robust and rapid fabrication
Mild polymerization conditions
CANs enable high performance, “green” polymer
Composites and resins
Patent available for exclusive or non-exclusive licensing.