Dynamic Covalent Polymers via Inverse Vulcanization of Elemental Sulfur for Healable Infrared Optical Materials

Jared J. Griebel, Ngoc A. Nguyen, Soha Namnabat, Laura E. Anderson, Richard S Glass, Robert A Norwood, Michael E. Mackay, Kookheon Char, Dong-Chul Pyun

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

84 Scopus citations

Abstract

We report on dynamic covalent polymers derived from elemental sulfur that can be used as thermally healable optical polymers for mid-IR thermal imaging applications. By accessing dynamic S-S bonds in these sulfur copolymers, surface scratches and defects of free-standing films of poly(sulfur-random-1,3-diisopropenylbenzene) (poly(S-r-DIB) can be thermally healed, which enables damaged lenses and windows from these materials to be reprocessed to recover their IR imaging performance. Correlation of the mechanical properties of these sulfur copolymers with different curing methods provided insights to reprocess damaged samples of these materials. Mid-IR thermal imaging experiments with windows before and after healing of surface defects demonstrated successful application of these materials to create a new class of scratch and heal optical polymers. The use of dynamic covalent polymers as healable materials for IR applications offers a unique advantage over the current state of the art (e.g., germanium or chalcogenide glasses) due to both the dynamic character and useful optical properties of S-S bonds.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)862-866
Number of pages5
JournalACS Macro Letters
Volume4
Issue number9
DOIs
StatePublished - Sep 15 2015

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Organic Chemistry
  • Materials Chemistry
  • Polymers and Plastics
  • Inorganic Chemistry

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