US researchers “design” shape-changing polymers


Researchers at Pennsylvania State University in the US have developed a technique to produce “smart” polymers that can be designed to change shape or even to depolymerise when exposed to specific chemical triggers.

The concept work, by Wanji Seo and Scott T Phillips at Pennsylvania State University’s Department of Chemistry, is described in a paper published in the Journal of the American Chemical Society (DOI: 10.1021/ja104420k).

It involves the use of polyphthalaldehyde polymer derivatives with specific end-capping groups selected by the team to act as “triggers”. When exposed to specific ...
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