Advancing Reversible Shape Memory by Tuning the Polymer Network Architecture

TitleAdvancing Reversible Shape Memory by Tuning the Polymer Network Architecture
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2016
AuthorsLi, Q, Zhou, J, Vatankhah-Varnoosfaderani, M, Nykypanchuk, D, Gang, O, Sheiko, S
Start Page1383
Date Published02/2016

Because of counteraction of a chemical network and a crystalline scaffold, semicrystalline polymer networks exhibit a peculiar behavior—reversible shape memory (RSM), which occurs naturally without applying any external force and particular structural design. There are three RSM properties: (i) range of reversible strain, (ii) rate of strain recovery, and (iii) decay of reversibility with time, which can be improved by tuning the architecture of the polymer network. Different types of poly(octylene adipate) networks were synthesized, allowing for control of cross-link density and network topology, including randomly cross-linked network by free-radical polymerization, thiol–ene clicked network with enhanced mesh uniformity, and loose network with deliberately incorporated dangling chains. It is shown that the RSM properties are controlled by average cross-link density and crystal size, whereas topology of a network greatly affects its extensibility. We have achieved 80% maximum reversible range, 15% minimal decrease in reversibility, and fast strain recovery rate up to 0.05 K–1, i.e., ca. 5% per 10 s at a cooling rate of 5 K/min.