Exploiting CH/π interactions in robust supramolecular adhesives

Lately, scientists have developed supramolecular adhesives (SAs) with polyacrylamide functionalized with multiple naphthalene rings as π donor and an alkyl group polyolefin as π acceptor.

The supramolecular adhesives hold potential for a range of useful applications in chemistry -

Supramolecular adhesives (SAs) have attracted great interest as a promising adhesion methodology in many fields. Although various SAs employing well-established non-covalent motifs have been reported to date, examples with marked binding strengths 2 MPa are still limited to SAs based on specific high-energy non-covalent interactions, e.g. hydrogen bonds, ionic bonds, host–guest interactions, and metal–ligand complexations. Reported herein is a new class of SAs based on multiple CH/π interactions.

Achieving comparable binding strength

The scientists designed the SAs with multiple-naphthalene-ring-functionalised polyacrylamide as a π donor and a polyolefin consisting of alkyl groups as a π acceptor. The macroscopic supramolecular assemblies achieved binding strengths in the range 2.1–2.6 MPa, comparable to those of SAs based on high-energy non-covalent interactions.

Potential for a range of useful applications in the industry

Moreover, the adhesive exhibited long-term (i.e. 30 days) stability in wet and humid environments. Finally, the scientists demonstrated potential application of the adhesive as an industrial adhesive. The SAs will overturn the preconception that adhesion strength driven by low-energy non-covalent interactions is low, and they hold potential for a range of useful applications in chemistry, materials science, and relevant industrial manufacturing.

The study is published in: Polymer Chemistry, Issue 32, 2018.

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