Solvent swelling activation of a mechanophore in a polymer network

Corissa K. Lee, Charles E. Diesendruck, Enjiong Lu, Austin N. Pickett, Preston A. May, Jeffrey S. Moore, Paul V. Braun

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


A spiropyran mechanophore (force-sensitive molecule), which is fluorescent in its mechanically activated state, is used to investigate swelling-induced mechanochemistry in cross-linked poly(methyl methacrylate). The spiropyran is incorporated as a cross-linker. A correlation is observed between solvent-induced polymer swelling and fluorescence intensity, suggesting that the forces during swelling are sufficient to drive the electrocyclic ring-opening of spiropyran to its colored and fluorescent merocyanine form. Control experiments and solvatochromic studies validate that activation is indeed due to swelling-induced mechanical forces and not solvent effects. Systematic studies varying solvents and cross-linking densities provide insight into how altering swelling parameters influences the mechanophore response at the molecular level.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2690-2694
Number of pages5
Issue number8
StatePublished - Apr 22 2014


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Organic Chemistry
  • Polymers and Plastics
  • Inorganic Chemistry
  • Materials Chemistry

Cite this

Lee, C. K., Diesendruck, C. E., Lu, E., Pickett, A. N., May, P. A., Moore, J. S., & Braun, P. V. (2014). Solvent swelling activation of a mechanophore in a polymer network. Macromolecules, 47(8), 2690-2694.