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Fascinating Silicone™ Chemistry Corner – Structure

Basic organoreactive silicone fluid structures

Reactive organic groups can be attached:

  • Pendant to the siloxane backbone ("rake" functionality)
  • At both ends of the siloxane polymer chain (ABA functionality)
  • At one end of the chain (AB functionality)

Graft copolymers, where two or more different organofunctional groups are attached, can also be created.

Illustration of pendant, ABA and AB organic functionalities

Pendant or "rake" functionality, where the organic functionality is distributed along the polysiloxane chain, is used to chemically bond the polysiloxane polymer to an organic material or to give unique orientation of the silicone on a metal or glass surface.

AB and ABA functionalities are preferred for molecular architecture or copolymer synthesis because there are only one or two reactive groups per polymer chain and they are located predictably at the ends. These end groups are more exposed than the pendant groups found in rake structures and are more available to form copolymers with organic intermediates.

AB and ABA functionalities are also ideal for tying silicone and organic structures together to form silicone-organic or silicone-organic-silicone block copolymers.

Did you know ... amine-functional silicones can crosslink with hair to create fast-drying films that do not build up!

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