Triggered Crosslinking of Main-Chain Enediyne Polyurethanes via Bergman-Cyclization

Cai, Y., Macromol. Rapid Commun., 2023, 202300440,

Crosslinking chemistries occupy an important position in polymer modification with a particular importance when triggered in response to external stimuli. Enediyne (EDY) moieties are used as functional entities in this work, known to undergo a pericyclic Bergman cyclization (BC) to induce a triggered crosslinking of polyurethanes (PU) via the intermediately formed diradicals. Diamino-EDYs, where the distance between the enyne-moieties is known to be critical to induce a BC, are placed repetitively as main-chain structural elements in isophorone-based PUs to induce reinforcement upon heating, compression, or stretching. A 7-day compression under room temperature results in a ≈69% activation of the BC, together with the observation of an increase in tensile strength by 62% after 25 stretching cycles. Purely heat-induced crosslinking contributes to 191% of the maximum tensile strength in comparison to the virgin PU. The BC herein forms an excellent crosslinking strategy, triggered by heat or force in PU materials. © 2023 The Authors. Macromolecular Rapid Communications published by Wiley‐VCH GmbH