Acrylic copolymers crosslinked by click chemistry: Some aspects of synthesis, curing, and crosslinking



Acrylic polymers bearing pendant azide and propargyl groups were synthesized by chemical transformation of epoxy- and carboxylic functional acrylic precursor polymers and were characterized. These copolymers were crosslinked by reacting them in the presence of Cu(I) catalyst via the azide–alkyne click reaction leading to triazole networks. Influence of catalyst concentration on the crosslinking cure kinetics was investigated, and the activation parameters were evaluated. The activation energy decreased from 90 kJ mol−1 to 25 kJ mol−1 on catalyzing the cure reaction as estimated by Ozawa method. Differential scanning calorimetric analysis indicated thermal decomposition of the residual azide groups at around 200–220°C, which was catalyzed by Cu(I) with associated activation energy of 130–94 kJ mol−1. Isothermal cure reaction and decomposition of the azide groups were predicted using these parameters. Estimation of crosslink density by solvent swelling and dynamic mechanical analyses showed a normal crosslinking behavior. While the solvent swelling rate and the equilibrium swelling decreased, the front factor and diffusion coefficient of swelling showed a transition from non-Fickian to Fickian as the triazole concentration increased in the network. The click reaction offered an alternate means to crosslink acrylate polymers. © 2013 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. J. Appl. Polym. Sci. 130: 1289-1300, 2013