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Synthesis of Photoresponsive Spiropyran-Based Hybrid Polymers and Controllable Light-Triggered Self-Assembly Study in Toluene

Authors

  • Li Ma,

    1. State Key Laboratory of Chemical Resource Engineering, and College of Material Science and Engineering, Beijing University of Chemical Technology, Beijing 100029, China
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  • Jinze Li,

    1. State Key Laboratory of Chemical Resource Engineering, and College of Material Science and Engineering, Beijing University of Chemical Technology, Beijing 100029, China
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  • Dan Han,

    1. State Key Laboratory of Chemical Resource Engineering, and College of Material Science and Engineering, Beijing University of Chemical Technology, Beijing 100029, China
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  • Haiping Geng,

    1. State Key Laboratory of Chemical Resource Engineering, and College of Material Science and Engineering, Beijing University of Chemical Technology, Beijing 100029, China
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  • Guangxin Chen,

    Corresponding author
    1. State Key Laboratory of Chemical Resource Engineering, and College of Material Science and Engineering, Beijing University of Chemical Technology, Beijing 100029, China
    • State Key Laboratory of Chemical Resource Engineering, and College of Material Science and Engineering, Beijing University of Chemical Technology, Beijing 100029, China.
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  • Qifang Li

    Corresponding author
    1. State Key Laboratory of Chemical Resource Engineering, and College of Material Science and Engineering, Beijing University of Chemical Technology, Beijing 100029, China
    • State Key Laboratory of Chemical Resource Engineering, and College of Material Science and Engineering, Beijing University of Chemical Technology, Beijing 100029, China.
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Abstract

A series of polyhedral oligomeric silsesquioxane end-capped poly(spiropyran-containing methacrylate) (POSS–PSPMA) polymers, a kind of photoresponsive hybrid polymer, are synthesized via atom transfer radical polymerization. It is proved that the molecular weight of POSS–PSPMA is sharply increased by raising the proportion of methanol or the concentration of the reactants. The self-assembly behavior of POSS–PSPMA is studied in toluene: under the control of UV and visible light, POSS–PSPMA can reversibly self-assemble into aggregates because the charged merocyanines (MC) form stacks. These MC stacks act as non-covalent crosslinking points and POSS shell guarantees the stability of the aggregates. This system has a broad potential use in nanocarriers, especially for encapsulating and releasing polar substances in the nonpolar solvents.

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