3 years ago

A Simply Synthesized, Tough Polyarylene with Transient Mechanochromic Response

Michael Sommer, Sophie Hameury, Oliver Brügner, Sarah Noemi Momm, Hannah Buchheit, Felix Riehle, Michael Walter, Fabian Kempe
A simple, straightforward and high-yielding route to tough polyarylenes of type poly(meta,meta,para-phenylene) (PmmpP) is developed. PmmpP is already tough in its as-synthesized state at intermediate molar mass of Mw ~60 kg/mol and exhibits outstanding mechanical properties for further optimized molecular weight (Mw = 96 kg/mol, E = 0.9 GPa, ε = 300 %). Statistical copolymers with para,para spiropyran (SP) are mechanochromic, whereby the tough behavior allows to investigate mechanochromism. Strained samples instantaneously lose color upon force release. DFT calculations show this phenomenon to be caused by i) the tough PmmpP matrix that allows build-up of sufficiently large forces to be transduced to SP, and ii) the relatively unstable corresponding merocyanine (MC) form arising from the aromatic comonomer. MC units covalently incorporated into PmmpP show a drastically reduced half life time of 3.1 s compared to 4.5 h obtained for SP derivatives with common 6 nitro substitution.

Publisher URL: http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/resolve/doi

DOI: 10.1002/anie.201709142

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