Step-growth Polymerization of Aziridines with Elemental Sulfur: Easy Access to Linear Polysulfides and Their Use as Recyclable Adhesives

Huishan Huang, Shuojia Zheng, Jiye Luo, Liang Gao, Yanxiong Fang, Zhen Zhang*, Jinxiang Dong*, Nikos Hadjichristidis*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations

Abstract

The bulk radical polymerization of bis(aziridine) with molten elemental sulfur resulted in brittle, cross-linked polymers. However, when the bis(aziridine) was treated with elemental sulfur in the presence of an organobase, the ring-opening reaction of aziridine with oligosulfide anions occurred, leading to the formation of linear polymers by step-growth polymerization. These newly synthesized polymers possess repeating units containing a sulfonamide or amide functional moiety and oligosulfide bonds with an average sulfur segment of about two. A small molecular model reaction confirmed the nucleophilic addition reaction of elemental sulfur to aziridine. It was verified that S−S dynamic bond exchange takes place in the presence of an organic base within the linear chains. The mixture of the synthesized polysulfides with pyridine exhibits exceptional adhesive properties when applied to steel, and aluminum substrates. Notably, these prepared adhesives displayed good reusability due to the dynamic S−S exchange and complete recyclability due to their solution processability. This elemental sulfur-involved polymerization approach represents an innovative method for the synthesis of advanced sulfur-containing polymers, demonstrating the potential for various applications in adhesives and beyond.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere202318919
JournalAngewandte Chemie - International Edition
Volume63
Issue number8
DOIs
StateAccepted/In press - 2024

Keywords

  • Aziridine
  • Elemental Sulfur
  • Polyamide
  • Recyclable Adhesive
  • Step-Growth Polymerization

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Catalysis
  • General Chemistry

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