Making the most of light and mechanical force in polymers
Yoan C. Simon
School of Polymers and High Performance Materials
The University of Southern Mississippi, Hattiesburg
Host: Ron Grimm, Ph.D.
Materials that adapt to their environment and respond to it in a desirable manner are particularly interesting both from a fundamental and application-oriented perspective. In order to direct the stimuli-responsiveness of polymeric materials, one must control their overall architectures, both at the molecular and supramolecular level. To achieve this goal, our group takes advantage of polymer chemistry and engineering to fabricate materials that will respond on command upon application of a given cue. Mechanoresponsive materials, i.e. materials that transduce mechanical force into a usable chemical potential will be broached and the design principles for such materials will be exposed. In particular, supramolecular materials that exhibit unique autonomous-mending properties upon application of ultrasonic waves will be discussed. Finally, materials that act as frequency upconverters will be discussed. Examples of polymers and small molecules will be shown in glassy and rubbery materials. In those examples, it appears as evident that composition and morphological control are essential features to promote photon-conversion efficiency.