Adaptable covalently cross-linked fibers

Nat Commun. 2023 Apr 18;14(1):2218. doi: 10.1038/s41467-023-37850-w.


Fibers, with over 100 million tons produced each year, have been widely used in various areas. Recent efforts have focused on improving mechanical properties and chemical resistance of fibers via covalent cross-linking. However, the covalently cross-linked polymers are usually insoluble and infusible, and thus fiber fabrication is difficult. Those reported require complex multiple-step preparation processes. Herein, we present a facile and effective strategy to prepare adaptable covalently cross-linked fibers by direct melt spinning of covalent adaptable networks (CANs). At processing temperature, dynamic covalent bonds are reversibly dissociated/associated and the CANs are temporarily disconnected to enable melt spinning; at the service temperature, the dynamic covalent bonds are frozen, and the CANs exhibit favorable structural stability. We demonstrate the efficiency of this strategy via dynamic oxime-urethane based CANs, and successfully prepare adaptable covalently cross-linked fibers with robust mechanical properties (maximum elongation of 2639%, tensile strength of 87.68 MPa, almost complete recovery from an elongation of 800%) and solvent resistance. Application of this technology is demonstrated by an organic solvent resistant and stretchable conductive fiber.

PMID:37072415 | PMC:PMC10113382 | DOI:10.1038/s41467-023-37850-w


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