We know polycarbonates mostly from its use in plastics water bottles, safety goggles, smart phones, structural panels (glazing) and the list goes on. A quick look at Wikipedia gives a spectrum of applications.
However, polycarbonates have its weaknesses along with the BPA (bis-phenol) controversy. Polymers such as polysulfates and polysulfonates have similar if not better mechanical properties than polycarbonates. The issue has been how reliably scale-up the manufacturing process of polysulfates and polysulfonates?
“Click chemistry” is a concept in organic chemistry by which highly reactive reactions provide high yielding products and require little to no purification. The concept was introduced by Nobel Prize winner Professor K. Barry Sharpless in 2001.
A recent work published in Nature Chemistry, by a team of researchers from The Scripps Research Institute (La Jolla), Lawrence Berkley National Laboratory (Berkley), California and Shanghai Institute of Organic Chemistry & Soochow University, China claimed that reduced cost of catalyst, product purity, and by-product recycling make their work ready to move from laboratory research to industrial process.
Chemists are at work indeed!
K. Barry Sharpless et al; Nature Chemistry, 2017 DOI: 10.1038/nchem.2796