A silsesquioxane is a compound with the empirical chemical formula RSiO1.5 comprising silicon (Si), oxygen (O) and an organic group or hydrogen (R).
Silsesquioxanes have a ceramic (silicon-oxygen) backbone with organic groups ('pendants') attached. The molecules are usually described as either cage or ladder structures.
Silsesquioxanes can be considered as monomer / oligomeric resins of high functionality and low viscosity.
The functional 'R' groups can be selected from a wide range of organic groups, including acrylate, aryl, alkyl, amino, ester, epoxy, vinyl, fluorocarbon etc. type molecules. The R groups may be reactive or non-reactive and may be the same or different.
Silsesquioxanes are considered hybrid nanostructured material. Setting it apart from other nanostructured materials is its versatile chemistry. Thus a specific nanostructure may be engineered for a particular application and its end-uses range from aerospace, to medical, to consumer goods.
Silsesquioxanes - Tailored multifunctional oligomers
Alan Taylor - Paper published in European Coatings Journal, October 2007.
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