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Published June 21, 2022 | Supplemental Material
Journal Article Open

Examining the Impact of Relative Mechanophore Activity on the Selectivity of Ultrasound-Induced Mechanochemical Chain Scission


Despite recent advances in polymer mechanochemistry, a more complete understanding of the factors that dictate the ultrasound-induced mechanochemical activation efficiency of mechanophores is necessary. Here, we examine how the identity of a mechanophore, and hence its unique force-coupled reactivity, affects the competition between mechanophore activation and nonspecific polymer backbone scission. Polymers incorporating distinct mechanophores but with putatively similar "chain-centeredness" exhibit widely different mechanochemical activation efficiencies. Furthermore, we employ mechanophores that can be orthogonally cleaved following ultrasonication using heat or light to report on the degree of nonspecific backbone scission that occurs for different mechanophore-containing polymers subjected to ultrasound-induced mechanical force. Our results illustrate that the identity of the mechanophore as well as its position in the polymer chain are inextricably important parameters that together control the selectivity of mechanophore activation during ultrasonication.

Additional Information

© 2022 American Chemical Society. Received 6 April 2022. Accepted 16 May 2022. Published online 18 May 2022. Financial support from Caltech is gratefully acknowledged. A.C.O. was supported by an NSF Graduate Research Fellowship (DGE-1745301) and an Institute Fellowship from Caltech. The authors declare no competing financial interest.

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August 22, 2023
October 24, 2023