Poly(ε‐caprolactone)‐based shape memory polymers with variable polydimethylsiloxane soft segment lengths
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Thermoresponsive shape memory polymers (SMPs) are stimuli-responsive materials that return to their permanent shape from a temporary shape in response to heating. The design of new SMPs which obtain a broader range of properties including mechanical behavior is critical to realize their potential in biomedical as well as industrial and aerospace applications. To tailor the properties of SMPs, "AB networks" comprised of two distinct polymer components have been investigated but are overwhelmingly limited to those in which both components are organic. In this present work, we prepared inorganic-organic SMPs comprised of inorganic polydimethyl-siloxane (PDMS) segments of varying lengths and organic poly(ε-caprolactone) (PCL) segments. PDMS has a particularly low T(g) (-125 °C) which makes it a particularly effective soft segment to tailor the mechanical properties of PCL-based SMPs. The SMPs were prepared via the rapid photocure of solutions of diacrylated PCL(40)-block-PDMS(m)-block-PCL(40) macromers (m = 20, 37, 66 and 130). The resulting inorganic-organic SMP networks exhibited excellent shape fixity and recovery. By changing the PDMS segment length, the thermal, mechanical, and surface properties were systematically altered.
author list (cited authors)
Zhang, D., Giese, M. L., Prukop, S. L., & Grunlan, M. A.