Mechanochromism and optical remodeling of multi-network elastomers containing anthracene dimers

Zhang, Huan, Zeng, Dezhi, Pan, Yifei, Chen, Yinjun, Ruan, Yonghong, Xu, Yuanze, Boulatov, Roman ORCID: 0000-0002-7601-4279, Creton, Costantino and Weng, Wengui
(2019) Mechanochromism and optical remodeling of multi-network elastomers containing anthracene dimers. CHEMICAL SCIENCE, 10 (36). pp. 8367-8373.

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Multi-network elastomers are both stiff and tough by virtue of containing a pre-stretched stiff network that can rupture and dissipate energy under load. However, the rupture of this sacrificial network in all described covalent multi-network elastomers is irreversible. Herein, we describe the first example of multi-network elastomers with a reformable sacrificial network containing mechanochemically sensitive anthracene-dimer cross-links. These cross-links also make our elastomers mechanochromic, with coloration that is both persistent and reversible, because the fluorogenic moiety (anthracene dimer) is regenerated upon irradiation of the material. In proof-of-concept experiments we demonstrate the utility of incorporating anthracene dimers in the backbone of the sacrificial network for monitoring mechanochemical remodeling of multi-network elastomers under cycling mechanical load. Stretching or compressing these elastomers makes them fluorescent and irradiating them eliminates the fluorescence by regenerating anthracene dimers. Reformable mechanochromic cross-links, exemplified by anthracene dimers, hold potential for enabling detailed studies of the molecular origin of the unique mechanical properties of multi-network elastomers.

Item Type: Article
Depositing User: Symplectic Admin
Date Deposited: 19 Aug 2019 15:04
Last Modified: 19 Jan 2023 00:28
DOI: 10.1039/c9sc02580d
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