Degradable Thermoset Fibers from Carbohydrate-Derived Diols via Thiol-Ene Photopolymerization

Sung Soo Kim, C. Maggie Lau, Leon M. Lillie, William B. Tolman, Theresa M. Reineke, Christopher J. Ellison

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Scopus citations


Carbohydrate-derived monomers were synthesized, and thiol-ene photopolymerization was employed to produce thermoset films and fibers from the biobased dienes isosorbide 10-undecenoate (IU) and glucarodilactone 10-undecenoate (GDLU) and multifunctional thiols. The resulting materials, comprising up to 94% biorenewable content, were flexible and cross-linked and had mechanical and thermal properties that varied with IU and GDLU content (e.g., rubbery plateau storage moduli = 6.1 to 10.5 MPa at 40 °C above the glass transition temperature; glass transition temperatures =-9.9 to 27 °C by differential scanning calorimetry; degradation temperatures = 238 to 347 °C by thermogravimetric analysis). By combining electrospinning with in-situ UV irradiation and carefully controlling the monomer mixture viscoelasticity and orifice-to-collector flight time, we produced uniformly cured fibers directly from the monomer feed when the ene monomers contained either 100% GDLU or 50% GDLU/50% IU. The resulting GDLU-containing thermoset films and fibers were readily decomposed into soluble small molecule fragments in basic aqueous media due to the intrinsic degradability of the GDLU unit. This study highlights the potential advantages of using carbohydrate-derived monomers for producing thermoset fibers and nonwovens that are both renewable and degradable.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2933-2942
Number of pages10
JournalACS Applied Polymer Materials
Issue number11
StatePublished - Nov 8 2019

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
S.-S.K., C.M.L., and C.J.E. gratefully acknowledge the financial support from the National Science Foundation (Grant # CBET-1659989). C.M.L. acknowledges support from the NSF Graduate Research Fellowship. L.M.L., W.B.T., and T.M.R. gratefully acknowledge the financial support through the National Science Foundation under the Center for Sustainable Polymers (NSF Project CHE-1413862).

Publisher Copyright:
Copyright © 2019 American Chemical Society.


  • carbohydrate-derived diols
  • degradability
  • fibers
  • thermosets
  • thiol-ene photopolymerization


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