Catechol and Polyphenol Chemistry for Smart Polymers


Phenolic compounds are widely found in nature. Catechol, for example, forms reversible complexes with metal ions, which provides mussel byssal cuticles with combined extensibility and hardness. Similarly, crosslinking of phenolic compounds contributes to the hardening of insect cuticle. Plant-based polyphenolic compounds such as tannic acid have been found to have antioxidant properties.

Recently, scientists worldwide have incorporated catechol and various phenolic compounds in designing advanced and multifunctional materials with unique properties (e.g., self-healing, underwater adhesion, stimuli responsive, etc.). These materials have potential in a wide range of applications in the biomedical, energy, industrial, and potentially other fields. The reasons for the wide adoption of phenolic compounds in material design is due to the unique ability for these compounds to participate in both irreversible and reversible interactions. Most importantly, by simply functionalizing materials with phenolic compounds, these initially inert materials are imparted with the unique properties of these phenolic compounds.

This Research Topic welcomes papers related to aspects of catechol and polyphenol chemistry, including the following:

1) Design and synthesis of polymer model systems to elucidate factors that may be used to control catechol and polyphenol chemistry 
2) Characterization of interfacial, complexation, crosslinking, and redox chemistry 
3) Structure-function relationship of phenol compounds 
4) Utilization of catechol or phenolic compounds for designing advanced, multifunctional, and smart materials 
5) Theoretical modeling approaches to study catechol and polyphenol chemistry 

Encouraged forms of submission include original research papers, reviews, and perspective articles. Theoretical and modeling studies, as well as applications of catechols and polyphenols that are extracted from plants or other natural sources, do not fall within the scope of this collection.