The innate brittleness of poly has hindered its extensive use in many structural applications. Environment-friendly acids with multifunctional groups, such as 1,2,3,4-butanetetracarboxylic acid, were used to modify PLA chain ends/tails via a melt reaction. At the same time, the strengthened PLA samples preserved the tensile stamina and Young's modulus of neat PLA, suggesting a distinct toughening mechanism that is various from the plasticizing result. To understand the toughening, we recommend a chain end engineering image that can improve the toughness by means of a reduction in the number density of chain defects or finishes of entanglement and the formation of long-branch topological structures.
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