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Special Chemistry Seminar

Wednesday, February 14, 2024
4:00pm to 5:00pm
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Gates Annex B122
Molecular Design Strategies for Mechanochemically Active Polymers
Maxwell J. Robb, Assistant Professor of Chemistry, Chemistry and Chemical Engineering, California Institute of Technology,
  • Internal Event

The use of mechanical force to selectively activate covalent bond transformations presents unique opportunities for the design of stimuli-responsive polymers for applications ranging from sensing to drug delivery. By incorporating stress-sensitive molecules called mechanophores into polymer chains, force is transduced selectively to weak bonds in the mechanophore to elicit a productive chemical reaction. Mechanochromic mechanophores that produce a change in color are particularly useful and have been widely developed as molecular force probes, empowering the visualization of critical stress and/or strain in materials. These same attributes also make force-induced color changes in polymeric materials appealing for patterning and encryption. In addition, the mechanically triggered release of small molecules offers another powerful approach for sensing and delivery. This presentation will highlight research from the Robb group on the development of molecular design strategies and structure–activity relationships for several different mechanophore platforms enabling visual stress reporting and mechanically triggered molecular release as well as some unusual reactivity.

For more information, please contact Kerry A. Gomez by email at [email protected].