Self-assembly and Non-covalent Bonding of Siloxane Oligomers on Diverse Surfaces: from Molecular Mechanism to Advanced Coating Applications

Project: Research

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Polymer coatings harnessing optical transparency tunable mechanical strength, reliable damage self-repairing, broad liquid-repellency, and high bonding capability to diverse surfaces would have great technical implications from buildings and architecture to flexible electronics, soft robotics, and medical devices. Supramolecular chemistry has been widely accepted and implemented in the development of advanced materials. Particularly, silicone based supramolecular materials have been recognized as promising candidates for various emerging coating applications. However, their performance on damage healing, interfacial bonding, surface and mechanical properties cannot fulfil all the requirements without compromising other functionalities. The PI’s group recently made a couple of achievements on the chemistry synthesis and molecular engineering of polydirnethylsiloxane-based materials and coatings. We demonstrated hydrogen-bond crosslinked supramolecular silicones in coating applications. Particularly, comparing to silicone polymers with high molecular weight, our results revealed that multiphase assembly of siloxane oligomers may help better engineer materials mechanics and interfacial bonding. In this project, we propose to develop a series of telechelic siloxane oligomers capable of non-covalent bonding and self-assembly to form large scale networks and thus a coating, which could harvest a combination of features that are urgently required by emerging and developed fields, With the careful design on the molecular configuration and non-covalent bonding motifs, we would synthesize a family of new siloxane oligomers for innovative coating applications. Through systematical and parametric studies, we will correlate the molecular structure and chemical composition of the synthesized siloxane oligomers with targeted properties and function of the as-prepared coating, such as liquid-repellency, mechanical strength, interfacial toughness/adhesion, and damage healing efficiency. New insights on the effect of hydrogen bonding motifs on the surface and mechanical properties could be revealed. The implementation of this project will not only advance our fundamental understanding on self-assembly and molecular engineering of siloxane oligomers, but also provide new insights into the design of multifunctional silicone materials which will benefit their potential applications in flexible electronics, soft robotics, and biomedical applications.  


Project number9042796
Grant typeGRF
Effective start/end date1/01/20 → …