Soft matter

Selective formation of organo, organo-aqueous, and hydro gel-like materials from partially hydrolysed poly(vinyl acetate)s based on different boron-containing crosslinkers.

PMID 26027551


Viscoelastic, gel-like, polymeric dispersions (HVPDs) can be prepared by crosslinking polyols with borax or boric acid in water under alkaline conditions. Rheologically similar HVPDs have been prepared in organic liquids containing no water or hydroxylic groups through crosslinking partially or fully hydrolysed poly(vinyl acetate)s with trimethyl borate, boric acid, or borax. The organo-HVPDs are water-sensitive and rheoreversible on exposure to water. They were characterised rheologically and by solution and solid-state (11)B NMR spectroscopy. Spectroscopic analyses show the presence of mono- and di-diol crosslinks, as well as non-crosslinked boron species in HVPDs prepared with trimethyl borate or boric acid. The number of crosslinks in organo-HVPDs prepared with borax increased over the course of several days. Results from solution and solid-state (11)B NMR spectroscopy are comparable; no solid-like component was detectable. We demonstrate that hydro, organo, or organo-aqueous HVPDs can be obtained from partially hydrolysed poly(vinyl acetate)s by 'tuning' the structure of the boron-based crosslinker.