Thin films of mechanochemically active polymer were subjected to laser-generated, high amplitude acoustic pulses. Stress wave propagation through the film produced large amplitude stresses (>100 MPa) in short time frames (10-20 ns), leading to very high strain rates (ca. 1 × 107 to 1 × 108 s-1). The polymer system, spiropyran (SP)-linked polystyrene (PS), undergoes a force-induced chemical reaction causing fluorescence and color change. Activation of SP was evident via a fluorescence signal in thin films subject to high strain-rates. In contrast, quasi-static loading of bulk SP-linked PS samples failed to result in SP activation. Mechanoresponsive coatings have potential to indicate deformation under shockwave loading conditions.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)5350-5355
Number of pages6
JournalACS Applied Materials and Interfaces
Issue number8
StatePublished - Apr 23 2014


  • laser spallation
  • mechanochemistry
  • polymers
  • spiropyran
  • thin films

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Materials Science


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