FURI | Spring 2022
Chemically Recyclable Poly(Thiol-Ene) Elastomers
Conventional petroleum-based polymers are not biodegradable, or easily recyclable. The goal of this research is to synthesize crosslinked photopolymers via thiol-disulfide exchange reactions. These materials may be synthesized by a one-step reaction with commercially available materials, encouraging future scalability. Specifically, thiol-containing monomers and multifunctional alkenes undergo photopolymerization in the presence of a photo-initiator, forming a crosslinked structure of disulfide linkages. These materials may then undergo base-catalyzed thiol-disulfide exchange reactions, forming thiol oligomers, similar to their initial form. This process may then be cycled repeatedly, alternating between crosslinked (solid) and de-crosslinked (liquid) forms that maintain their material properties from the last cycle.
Connor E. Williamson
Hometown: Scottsdale, Arizona, United States
Graduation date: Spring 2024