Soft Poly(dimethylsiloxane) Elastomers from Architecture-Driven Entanglement Free Design

Michael Rubinstein, Rodrigo E. Guerra, Thomas E. Kodger, Adrian F. Pegoraro, Li Heng Cai, David A. Weitz
We fabricate soft, solvent-free polydimethylsiloxane (PDMS) elastomers by crosslinking bottlebrush polymers rather than linear polymers. We design the chemistry to allow commercially available linear PDMS precursors to deterministically form bottlebrush polymers, which are simultaneously crosslinked, enabling a one-step synthesis. The bottlebrush architecture prevents the formation of entanglements, resulting in elastomers with precisely controllable elastic moduli from ~1 to ~100 kPa, below
more » ... intrinsic lower limit of traditional elastomers. Moreover, the solvent-free nature of the soft PDMS elastomers enables a negligible contact adhesion compared to commercially available silicone products of similar stiffness. The exceptional combination of softness and negligible adhesiveness may greatly broaden the applications of PDMS elastomers in both industry and research.
doi:10.17615/zac9-ct04 fatcat:krcidqmve5antihgr2eeh6njcm