We reported a strategy to access different topologies of redox-active poly(disulfide)s by ring-opening polymerization. Control over polymerization enables synthesis of high molecular-weight polymers. The polymers undergo catalytic depolymerization to recycle monomer; a promising feature for sustainable flow batteries.
Significance and Impact
Redox-active poly(disulfide)s are promising materials for energy storage. Our methods provide control over the synthesis to enable studies of structure-property relationships. The new synthesis also expands the parameter space of polymer molecular weight and topologies for energy materials research.
- Cyclic and linear topologies were supported by 1H NMR spectroscopy, mass spectrometry, viscometry, size-exclusion chromatography, and thermogravimetric analysis.
- The kinetics and thermodynamics of polymerization were studied to enable synthesis of high polymers with 3000 repeating units.
- Using different initiators to influence ring-chain equilibrium to obtain cyclic polymers is a new chemistry knowledge and is further supported by DFT analysis.