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PhD ceremony Mr. C. Toncelli: Functional polymers from alternating aliphatic polyketones. Synthesis and applications

When:Fr 07-06-2013 at 14:30

PhD ceremony: Mr. C. Toncelli, 14.30 uur, Academiegebouw, Broerstraat 5, Groningen

Dissertation: Functional polymers from alternating aliphatic polyketones. Synthesis and applications

Promotor(s): prof. F. Picchioni, prof. A.A. Broekhuis

Faculty: Mathematics and Natural Sciences

This research focuses on the synthesis and application of functional polymeric materials derived from alternating aliphatic polyketones. These, because of the presence of carbonyl groups along the backbone, allow a wide range of modification reactions, by which the thermal, morphological and mechanical properties can be easily modulated. In particular, the Paal-Knorr reaction of primary amines with 1,4-dicarbonyls yields pyrrolic rings along the backbone in a straightforward and convenient way (i.e. without the use of any solvent or catalysts). The resulting functional materials have been applied to prevent dye aggregation, a key feature for maximization of dye sensitized solar cells efficiency. Furthermore, thermo-reversible thermosets produced by post-modification of aliphatic polyketones still retain the same mechanical properties of cross-linked networks but they showed recyclability (e.g. by simply increasing the temperature) up to seven times without any material degradation. Thermo-reversibility was tested with two different systems, which ensured for the first one the production of materials with different visco-elasticity and for the latter one high thermal stability (up to 209°C). Chemically modified polyketones were also efficient in removing toxic metal ions, such as Cu(II), Ni(II), Co(II), Fe(III), Cr(III), Ag(I) and Hg(II) from water waste. Different selectivities and adsorption towards specific metal ions could be achieved by varying the functional pendent group.

Finally aliphatic polyketones were tested in a bath formulation for cathodic electrodeposition in automotive applications. The resulted materials showed an excellent shelf-life and a firm, green-oriented perspective for free catalyst-free and low toxic electro-deposition bath formulations.

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