Investigations in fundamental and applied polymer mechanochemistry

Michael B. Larsen, Andrew J. Boydston

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

29 Scopus citations


The field of polymer mechanochemistry has experienced rapid growth over the past decade, propelled largely by the development of force-activated functional groups (mechanophores) and polymer structure-reactivity principles for mechanochemical transduction. In addition to fundamental guidelines for converting mechanical input into chemical output, there has also been increasing focus toward the application of polymer mechanochemistry for specific functions, materials, and devices. These endeavors are made possible by multidisciplinary approaches involving designer polymer synthesis, computational modeling and design, and different fields of engineering. Described herein are contributions from our group on the development of flex activated mechanophores for small molecule release and star polymer mechanochemistry, as well as collaborative efforts toward mechanochemically triggered depolymerizations and 3D printed mechanochromic materials. Mechanochemistry continues to experience tremendous growth over the past decade. Major emphasis focuses on molecular-level design to understand how functional groups and polymeric materials transduce mechanical input. Additionally, applications-oriented research holds promise for translating mechanoresponsive materials into real world devices. Described herein are some of our efforts to develop mechanophores and mechanoresponsive materials.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)354-364
Number of pages11
JournalMacromolecular Chemistry and Physics
Issue number3
StatePublished - Feb 1 2016


  • 3D printing
  • depolymerization
  • mechanochemistry
  • mechanophores
  • star polymers


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