Polydicyclopentadiene Aerogels via ROMP: Nanostructure Control with First and Second Generation Grubbs Catalysts
Polydicyclopentadiene (pDCPD)is a polymer synthesized via ROMP from readily available dicyclopentadiene (DCPD), an inexpensive byproduct of petroleum refinery, and is emerging as an attractive material for diverse applications from separation media to body armor. Here, we developed pDCPD-based aerogels using first and second generation Grubbs Catalysts (GC-I and GC-II) known for their different catalytic activity and tolerance towards wide range of functional groups. pDCPD wet-gels with GC-II show excessive swelling in toluene (up to 200% v/v) followed by de-swelling and uneven shrinkage in acetone, resulting in severely deformed aerogels. However, wet-gels from GC-I retain their shape throughout processing. Microscopically, pDCPD aerogels derived from GC-I and GC-II catalysts show different morphologies: fibrous versus particulate, respectively. High concentration pDCPD aerogels obtained from GC-I are mechanically strong, undergo compression without buckling, making them suitable material for ballistic protection.
A. N. Bang et al., "Polydicyclopentadiene Aerogels via ROMP: Nanostructure Control with First and Second Generation Grubbs Catalysts," Abstracts of Papers of the American Chemical Society, American Chemical Society (ACS), Mar 2014.
247th ACS National Meeting and Exposition (2014: Mar. 16-20, Dallas, TX)
Article - Conference proceedings
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