The study of Diels-Alder reactions in materials science is of increasing interest. The main reason for that is the potential thermoreversibility of the reaction. Aiming to predict the behavior of a material modified with maleimido and furyl moieties, 1H NMR and UV-Vis solution studies of the Diels-Alder reaction between furfuryl alcohol and two N-hydroxymaleimides are explored in the present study. Rate constants, activation energy, entropy, and enthalpy of formation were determined from each technique for both reacting systems. Endo and exo isomers were distinguished in 1H NMR, and the transition from a kinetic, controlled Diels-Alder reaction to a thermodynamic one could be observed in the temperature range studied. A discussion on the effect of that on the application in a material was performed. The approach selected considers a simplified equilibrium of the Diels-Alder reaction as the kinetic model, allowing materials scientists to evaluate the suitability of using the reacting molecules for the creation of thermoresponsive materials. The proposed approach determines the kinetic constants without the direct influence of the equilibrium constant value, thereby allowing a more objective data analysis. The effects of the selection of kinetic model, analytical method, and data treatment are discussed.
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