"Flex-activated" mechanophores: Using polymer mechanochemistry to direct bond bending activation

Michael B. Larsen, Andrew J. Boydston

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

172 Scopus citations


We describe studies in mechanochemical transduction that probe the activation of bonds orthogonal to an elongated polymer main chain. Compression of mechanophore-cross-linked materials resulted in the release of small molecules via cleavage of covalent bonds that were not integral components of the elongated polymer segments. The reactivity is proposed to arise from the distribution of force through the cross-linking units of the polymer network and subsequent bond bending motions that are consistent with the geometric changes in the overall reaction. This departure from contemporary polymer mechanochemistry, in which activation is achieved primarily by force-induced bond elongation, is a first step toward mechanophores capable of releasing side-chain functionalities without inherently compromising the overall macromolecular architecture.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)8189-8192
Number of pages4
JournalJournal of the American Chemical Society
Issue number22
StatePublished - Jun 5 2013


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