Soluble bridged polysilsesquioxanes with a range of molecular weight were synthesized from bis(triethoxysilyl)ethane, ethylene, and acetylene (BTES-E1, -E2, and -E3) via hydrolysis and polycondensation reaction by adjusting the water amount. Polymerization behavior of these three trialkoxysilanes was investigated by monitoring the reaction progress by GPC, and 29Si NMR spectrometry of the resulting polymers, poly(BTES-E1), poly(BTES-E2), and poly(BTES-E3), showing that BTES-E1 generated cyclic oligomers at the early stage. In contrast, polymerization of BTES-E2 and BTES-E3 provided no detectable amounts of cyclic oligomers, but afforded linear polymers only. Bulk gels were also prepared by curing the polymers. The gel from poly(BTES-E3) exhibited high thermal stability derived from the rigid acetylene spacer with respect to thermogravimetric analysis. On the other hand, the polymer film of BTES-E1 showed the highest pencil hardness index among the polymers, indicating the tight siloxane network of poly(BTES-E1).
Bridged polysilsesquioxane Sol–gel process Bulk gels Polymerization behavior Cyclic oligomer
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This research was supported by Core Research for Evolutionary Science and Technology (CREST), Japan Science and Technology Agency (JST).