Silicone boronates reversibly crosslink using Lewis acid-Lewis base amine complexes.
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Silicone elastomers are normally thermosets, which are not readily recycled or repurposed. The few examples of thermoplastic silicone elastomers depend on reversible covalent and non-covalent molecular interactions. It is demonstrated that amine-boronate complex formation provides a simple and flexible route to reversible crosslinked silicones. A variety of network structures were prepared by use of terminal and pendantly functionalised silicone boronates and amines. The crosslink density was quantified using a combination of Shore-hardness measurements, swelling, and rheological analyses. Stress induced by compressive force could be relieved through dynamic B-N bond reformation at 60 °C. Materials could be fully disassembled through introduction of n-butylamine and successfully reformed upon removal of the monofunctional amine by evaporation.
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