Advanced (Bio)polymer networks.
Name of the supervisor
Mgr. Martin Danko, PhD.
Faculty of Chemical and Food Technology STU
Material science is combining synthesis and engineering towards material for common everyday use. Polymer science is one of the best approaches the design new materials for a desired application. Research efforts of the thesis will be focused on production of vitrimers a special class of polymers, possessing properties like re-processing and self-healing without loss of mechanical properties after repeated cycles. Such properties can be achieved if chemical cross-links can be efficiently and reliably exchanged between different positions of the organic polymer chains, macroscopic flow can be achieved without risking structural damage or permanent loss of material properties. One of the possible exchangeable reaction is transesterification in multi-carboxylic and/or multi-hydroxyl polyester networks of polylactides, polyhydroxy-alkanoates and polyesters based on other renewable resources. For generation of polyester-based vitrimers we propose functionalization with the aim to produce epoxy groups along the polyester chain. Following reaction with multicarboxylic acid (i.e., n ≧ 2) (e.g., citric, malic, succinic acid) leads to production beta-hydroxy ester crosslinks, which in the presence of catalyst undergo associative reversible network topology formation.