Accessibility of responsive end-caps in films composed of stimuli-responsive, depolymerizable poly(phthalaldehydes)

Anthony M. Dilauro, Hua Zhang, Matthew S. Baker, Flory Wong, Ayusman Sen, Scott T. Phillips

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

37 Scopus citations


Polymers that are capable of depolymerizing completely from head-to-tail upon cleavage of an end-cap from the terminus of the polymer have emerged recently as a new strategy for creating stimuli-responsive solid-state materials with amplified responses. In theory, solid-state materials made from these polymers will respond most efficiently to a stimulus in solution when the polymer end-caps are displayed into solution at the solid-liquid interface, rather than being buried in the solid-state material. This article defines two strategies for increasing the likelihood that end-caps are displayed at this interface. A microscale-pump made from films of depolymerizable poly(phthalaldehyde) serves as a test system for evaluating the location of end-caps in the films. By measuring the flow rate initiated by depolymerization of the polymers within the films, we determined that both the polymer length and hydrophilicity of the end-caps affect the density of end-caps at the solid-liquid interface.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)7257-7265
Number of pages9
Issue number18
StatePublished - Sep 24 2013

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

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


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