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Open AccessArticle

Design of Thermochromic Polynorbornene Bearing Spiropyran Chromophore Moieties: Synthesis, Thermal Behavior and Dielectric Barrier Discharge Plasma Treatment

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Chemistry Department, Faculty of Applied Sciences, Umm Al-Qura University, Makkah 21955, Saudi Arabia
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Chemistry Department, Faculty of Science, Assiut University, Assiut 71516, Egypt
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Chemistry Department, Faculty of Science, Taibah University, Al-Madinah Al-Munawarah 30002, Saudi Arabia
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Physics Department, Faculty of Science, Taibah University, Al-Madinah Al-Munawarah 30002, Saudi Arabia
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Physics Department, Faculty of Science, Beni-Suef University, Beni-Suef 62511, Egypt
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Chemistry Department, Faculty of Science, University of Prince Edward Island, Charlottetown, PE C1A 4P, Canada
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Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Polymers 2017, 9(11), 630; https://doi.org/10.3390/polym9110630
Received: 18 October 2017 / Revised: 15 November 2017 / Accepted: 16 November 2017 / Published: 22 November 2017
A new class of thermochromic polynorbornene with pendent spiropyran moieties has been synthesized. Functionalization of norbornene monomers with spirobenzopyran moieties has been achieved using Steglich esterification. These new monomeric materials were polymerized via Ring Opening Metathesis Polymerization (ROMP). In spite of their poor solubility, polynorbornenes with spirobenzopyran exhibited thermochromic behavior due to the conversion of their closed spiropyran moieties to the open merocyanine form. Moreover, these polymers displayed bathochromic shifts in their optical response, which was attributed to the J-aggregation of the attached merocyanine moieties that were associated with their high concentration in the polymeric chain. The surface of the obtained polymers was exposed to atmospheric pressure air Dielectric Barrier Discharge (DBD) plasma system, which resulted in the reduction of the surface porosity and converted some surface area into completely non-porous regions. Moreover, the plasma system created some areas with highly ordered J-aggregates of the merocyanine form in thread-like structures. This modification of the polymers’ morphology may alter their applications and allow for these materials to be potential candidates for new applications, such as non-porous membranes for reverse osmosis, nanofiltration, or molecular separation in the gas phase. View Full-Text
Keywords: polynorbornene; thermochromic; spiropyran; J-aggregation; ROMP; DBD plasma; SEM images polynorbornene; thermochromic; spiropyran; J-aggregation; ROMP; DBD plasma; SEM images
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MDPI and ACS Style

Ahmed, S.A.; Okasha, R.M.; Khairou, K.S.; Afifi, T.H.; Mohamed, A.-A.H.; Abd-El-Aziz, A.S. Design of Thermochromic Polynorbornene Bearing Spiropyran Chromophore Moieties: Synthesis, Thermal Behavior and Dielectric Barrier Discharge Plasma Treatment. Polymers 2017, 9, 630.

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