UD researchers pioneer greener way to create interwoven polymers with blue light

A pair of engineers at the University of Delaware has developed a process to form interwoven polymer networks more easily, quickly and sustainably than traditional methods allow. Their secret ingredient? Blue light.

Abhishek Shete, graduate research assistant in materials science and engineering, and Christopher Kloxin, assistant professor in materials science and engineering and chemical and biomolecular engineering, describe their method in a paper featured on the cover of the 24th issue of Polymer Chemistry. The paper is titled “One-pot blue-light triggered tough interpenetrating polymeric network (IPN) using CuAAC and methacrylate reactions.”

Polymers, which are materials made from chains of molecules, are found in everything from food to clothing to cars. Two or more types of polymer chains with different individual properties can also be linked together to form interpenetrating polymeric networks, materials that often combine favorable mechanical properties from each polymer such as high strength and toughness.

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