Thermal stimuli-responsive behavior of pyrene end-functionalized PDMS through tunable Π-Π Interactions

Heonjoo Ha, Kadhiravan Shanmuganathan, Yunping Fei, Christopher J. Ellison

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


Pyrene end-functionalized, telechelic poly(dimethyl siloxane) (PDMS) materials were synthesized and their response to different thermal stimuli was evaluated. The incorporation of pyrene end groups introduces strong π-π interactions that facilitated a broad range of thermally responsive properties, in some circumstances forming pyrene nanocrystals that serve as physical crosslinks leading to elastic materials. By synthesizing different chain lengths, samples exhibiting a 7 orders of magnitude change in storage modulus in response to thermal stimuli were produced by modifying only the end-groups (0.6 wt % of all polymer segments). Repeated thermal cycling during rheological experiments revealed that π-π interaction and crystallization/melting kinetics of pyrene chain-ends plays a key role in their thermal responsiveness. The properties of these materials were tuned by adding free pyrene, neat PDMS, or graphene oxide (GO) nanoparticles, making them attractive for many applications (e.g., tunable damping materials, heat/light sensors, conductive gels, or light repositionable adhesives). For example, nanocomposites containing 1 wt % GO caused the melting temperature for pyrene crystal domains to more than double, and even induced pyrene end-group crystallization in samples that did not exhibit crystals in neat form. It is hypothesized that these features originate from π-π interactions between pyrene ends and GO surfaces.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)159-168
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Polymer Science, Part B: Polymer Physics
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jan 15 2016

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2015 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.


  • graphene oxide
  • poly(dimethyl siloxane)
  • pyrene; π-π interactions
  • stimuli-responsive


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