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Viscoelastic Covalent Organic Nanotube Fabric via Macroscopic Entanglement


Covalent organic nanotubes (CONTs) are one-dimensional porous frameworks constructed from organic building blocks via dynamic covalent chemistry. CONTs are synthesized as insoluble powder that restricts their potential applications. The judicious selection of 2,2′-bipyridine-5,5′-dicarbaldehyde and tetraaminotriptycene as building blocks for TAT-BPy CONTs has led to constructing flexible yet robust and self-standing fabric up to 3 μm thickness. The TAT-BPy CONTs and TAT-BPy CONT fabric have been characterized by solid-state one-dimensional (1D) 13C CP-MAS, two-dimensional (2D) 13C–1H correlation NMR, 2D 1H–1H DQ–SQ NMR, and 2D 14N–1H correlation NMR spectroscopy. The mechanism of fabric formation has been established by using high-resolution transmission electron microscopy and scanning electron microscopy techniques. The as-synthesized viscoelastic TAT-BPy CONT fabric exhibits high mechanical strength with a reduced modulus (Er) of 8 (±3) GPa and hardness (H) of 0.6 (±0.3) GPa. Interestingly, the viscoelastic fabric shows time-dependent elastic depth recovery up to 50–70%.

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