The living nature of ring-opening polymerizations, in particular ring opening metathesis polymerization (ROMP) and cationic polymerization of oxazolines, makes them exceptionally valuable for the preparation of polymers and copolymers with well-defined structure and composition. Especially, state of the art ROMP offers the advantages of mild reaction conditions and paramount functional group tolerance. This allows for the incorporation of highly diverse chemical groups into the material, which will be exploited in this project. Through combination of several different properties in a multifunctional polymeric material, recent technological challenges in bonding/sealing and energy storage, for instance lithium ion batteries, shall be tackled.
The research work in this project will start with strategies to obtain polymers with comparably high glass transition temperatures (Tg). Until now, only isolated examples of ROM polymers with high Tg are known. However, in many applications high Tg materials are needed and a general design principle for monomers leading to high Tg ROM polymers is missing. Moreover, emphasis will be laid on the development of multifunctional polymers (i) which serve as separator materials and solid electrolytes in lithium ion batteries and (ii) which serve as adhesives and/or seals which exhibit good barrier properties for water and oxygen. In both envisaged target materials high glass transition temperatures are of particular importance. Furthermore, the possibility for light or thermal induced curing after application of the polymers on solid substrates will be a requirement for both materials.
Depending on the foreseen application, additional requirements will comprise ion conductivity, electrochemical and mechanical stability (for separator/electrolyte applications), or low free volume and/or covalent incorporation of getter substances into the (co)polymers (for application as adhesive barrier materials). In both cases, the objective is to prepare multifunctional polymers fulfilling a plurality of requirements. This will be achieved by the rational design of monomers, and by a systematic variation of polymer composition and architecture.