Vegetable Oil Derived Solvent, And Catalyst Free “Click Chemistry” Thermoplastic Polytriazoles
Azide-alkyne Huisgen “click” chemistry provides new synthetic routes for making thermoplastic polytriazole polymers—without solvent or catalyst. This method was used to polymerize three diester dialkyne monomers with a lipid derived 18 carbon diazide to produce a series of polymers (labelled C18C18, C18C9, and C18C4 based on monomer chain lengths) free of residual solvent and catalyst. Three diester dialkyne monomers were synthesized with ester chain lengths of 4, 9, and 18 carbons from renewable sources. Significant differences in thermal and mechanical properties were observed between C18C9 and the two other polymers. C18C9 presented a lower melting temperature, higher elongation at break, and reduced Young’s modulus compared to C18C4 and C18C18. This was due to the “odd-even” effect induced by the number of carbon atoms in the monomers which resulted in orientation of the ester linkages of C18C9 in the same direction, thereby reducing hydrogen bonding. The thermoplastic polytriazoles presented are novel polymers derived from vegetable oil with favourable mechanical and thermal properties suitable for a large range of applications where no residual solvent or catalyst can be tolerated. Their added potential biocompatibility and biodegradability make them ideal for applications in the medical and pharmaceutical industries.