Exploiting retro oxa-Michael chemistry in polymers

Karin Ratzenböck, Johanna Uher, Susanne Maria Fischer, David Edinger, Viktor Schallert, Ema Žagar, David Pahovnik, Christian Slugovc*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


One way to obtain recyclable polymeric materials is to include reversible bonds in polymers. Herein, we study the reversibility of the oxa-Michael reaction and explore its scope and limitations in simple model systems and further in linear polymers as well as in polymer networks. The results show that the retro oxa-Michael reaction of sulfone, acrylate or acrylonitrile based adducts is considerably fast at elevated temperatures (>100 °C) if Brønsted bases (e.g. KOH) are used as catalysts. Under these conditions, alcohols can easily be exchanged in oxa-Michael adducts within minutes. Furthermore, poly(ether)s derived from oxa-Michael reactions can be depolymerized into small fragments in the presence of alcohols and show self-healing characteristics in networks.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)651-661
Number of pages11
JournalPolymer Chemistry
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 4 Jan 2023

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Bioengineering
  • Polymers and Plastics
  • Biochemistry
  • Organic Chemistry

Fields of Expertise

  • Advanced Materials Science


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