Stimuli-responsive materials activated by a pair of molecular or ionic species are of interest in the design of chemical logic gates and signal amplification schemes. There are relatively few materials whose coactivated response has been well-characterized. Here, we demonstrate a specific ion coactivation (SICA) effect at the interfaces of transient polymer solids and liquid solutions. We found that depolymerization of the transient polymer, cyclic poly(phthalaldehyde) (cPPA), exhibited a SICA effect when the cPPA core-shell microcapsules were suspended in ion-containing acidic methanol solutions. Significant acceleration in cPPA depolymerization rate is triggered by the combination of acid and ion coactivators. Intriguingly, the SICA effect is related to the Hofmeister behavior. The SICA effect is primarily determined by anions, and cations exhibit a secondary effect that modulates the coactivation strength. Based on these observations, we developed cPPA programmable microcapsules whose payload release rates depend on the composition and concentration of the salt/acidic-methanol solutions.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Colloid and Surface Chemistry