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Ultra-high molecular weight (UHMW, Mn > 1000 kDa) polymeric drift control adjuvants (DCAs) for agricultural spraying are prone to mechanical degradation and rapidly lose performance. To overcome this, we have designed linear coordination polymers (LCPs) composed of 400 kDa telechelic bis-terpyridine end-functionalised polyacrylamide units, which 'self-heal' upon shearing through reformation of coordination bonds. After addition of Fe(ii) to dilute aqueous solutions of the terpyridine telechelics, UHMW LCPs were obtained as demonstrated by UV-vis spectroscopy, MALS GPC and intrinsic viscosity measurements. Importantly, these UHMW LCPs were shown to function as effective DCAs, reducing the formation of fine 'driftable' droplets during spray testing at concentrations as low as 100 ppm. Following mechanically-induced coordination bond-scission, the UHMW LCPs were found to recover up to 90% of their performance compared to un-sheared samples, at a rate dependent on the transition metal ion used to form the complex.
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