Reaction Kinetics and Reduced Shrinkage Stress of Thiol-Yne-Methacrylate and Thiol-Yne-Acrylate Ternary Systems

Macromolecules. 2011 Dec 13;44(23):9084-9090. doi: 10.1021/ma2018809.


Thiol-yne-methacrylate and thiol-yne-acrylate ternary systems were investigated for polymerization kinetics and material properties and compared to the analogous pure thiol-yne and (meth)acrylate systems. Both thiol-yne-methacrylate and thiol-yne-acrylate systems were demonstrated to reduce polymerization induced shrinkage stress while simultaneously achieving high glass transition temperatures (T(g)) and modulius. Formulations with 70 wt% methacrylate increased the T(g) from 51 ± 2 to 75 ± 1 °C and the modulus from 1800 ± 100 to 3200 ± 400 MPa (44% increase) over the pure thiol-yne system. Additionally, the shrinkage stress was 1.2 ± 0.2 MPa, which is lower than that of the pure methacrylate, binary thiol-yne and thiol-ene-methacrylate control systems which are all > 2 MPa. Interestingly, with increasing methacrylate or acrylate concentration, a decrease and subsequent increase in the shrinkage stress values were observed. A minimum shrinkage stress value (1.0 ± 0.2 MPa) was observed in the 50 wt% methacrylate and 70 wt% acrylate systems. This tunable behavior results from the competitive reaction kinetics of the methacrylate or acrylate homopolymerization versus chain transfer to thiol and the accompanying thiol-yne step-growth polymerization. The crosslinking density of the networks and the amount of volumetric shrinkage that occurs prior to gelation relative to the total volumetric shrinkage were determined as two key factors that control the final shrinkage stress of the ternary systems.