Special Issue "Photoresponsive Polymeric Materials"

A special issue of Polymers (ISSN 2073-4360). This special issue belongs to the section "Polymer Applications".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 31 October 2019.

Special Issue Editors

Dr. Milagros Piñol
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
University of Zaragoza-CSIC
Interests: polymer chemistry; stimuli responsive polymers; polymeric nanocarriers
Dr. Luis Oriol
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
University of Zaragoza-CSIC
Interests: functional polymers; controlled polymerizations; stimuli responsive polymers

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Functional polymers having a programmed response to light have emerged as promising materials of interest in different applications mainly related with optical technologies or light triggered delivery systems. The design of photoresponsive polymers requires of photosensitive moieties that might go through any modification on their chemical structure by irradiation with proper light. Polymers based on coumarin, ortho-nitrobenzyl, spyropyran or azobenzene derivatives are representative examples of these materials. Initial research was boosted by the envisaged applications on optical storage, although recent applications on actuators for soft robotics or light controlled and triggered drug-delivery of polymeric nanocontainers have attracted attention of polymer and materials research community.

Dr. Milagros Piñol
Dr. Luis Oriol
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

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Keywords

  • photoresponsive materials
  • light-controlled release
  • smart surfaces
  • optical switches
  • photoactuators
  • optical recording
  • photoalignment
  • photonic materials

Published Papers (4 papers)

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Research

Open AccessArticle
Opposite Self-Folding Behavior of Polymeric Photoresponsive Actuators Enabled by a Molecular Approach
Polymers 2019, 11(10), 1644; https://doi.org/10.3390/polym11101644 - 10 Oct 2019
Abstract
The ability to obtain 3D polymeric objects by a 2D-to-3D shape-shifting method is very appealing for polymer integration with different materials, from metals in electronic devices to cells in biological studies. Such functional reshaping can be achieved through self-folding driven by a strain [...] Read more.
The ability to obtain 3D polymeric objects by a 2D-to-3D shape-shifting method is very appealing for polymer integration with different materials, from metals in electronic devices to cells in biological studies. Such functional reshaping can be achieved through self-folding driven by a strain pattern designed into the molecular network. Among polymeric materials, liquid crystalline networks (LCNs) present an anisotropic molecular structure that can be exploited to tailor internal strain, resulting in a natural non-planar geometry when prepared in the form of flat films. In this article, we analyze the influence of different molecular parameters of the monomers on the spontaneous shape of the polymeric films and their deformation under different stimuli, such as heating or light irradiation. Modifying the alkilic chains of the crosslinkers is a simple and highly effective way to increase the temperature sensitivity of the final actuator, while modifying ester orientation on the aromatic core interestingly acts on the bending direction. Combining such effects, we have demonstrated that LCN stripes made of different monomeric mixtures originate complex non-symmetric deformation under light activation, thus opening up new applications in photonic and robotics. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Photoresponsive Polymeric Materials)
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Open AccessArticle
Hydrogen Bonding-Induced Assembled Structures and Photoresponsive Behavior of Azobenzene Molecule/Polyethylene Glycol Complexes
Polymers 2019, 11(8), 1360; https://doi.org/10.3390/polym11081360 - 16 Aug 2019
Abstract
We investigated the self-assembled structures and photoresponsive and crystallization behaviors of supramolecules composed of 4-methoxy-4′-hydroxyazobenzene (Azo) molecules and polyethylene glycol (PEG) that were formed through hydrogen-bonding interactions. The Azo/PEG complexes exhibited the characteristics of photoresponse and crystallization, which originated from Azo and PEG, [...] Read more.
We investigated the self-assembled structures and photoresponsive and crystallization behaviors of supramolecules composed of 4-methoxy-4′-hydroxyazobenzene (Azo) molecules and polyethylene glycol (PEG) that were formed through hydrogen-bonding interactions. The Azo/PEG complexes exhibited the characteristics of photoresponse and crystallization, which originated from Azo and PEG, respectively. When Azo/PEG complexes were dissolved in solvents, hydrogen-bonding interaction hindered the rotation and inversion of mesogens, causing a reduction in the photoisomerization rate compared with the photoisomerization rate of the neat Azo. The confinement of Azo/PEG complexes in thin films further resulted in a substantial decrease in the photoisomerization rate but an increase in the amounts of H-aggregated and J-aggregated mesogens. Regarding PEG crystallization, ultraviolet irradiation of Azo/PEG complexes increased the quantity of high-polarity cis isomers, which improved the compatibility between mesogens and PEG, subsequently increasing the crystallization temperature of PEG. Moreover, the complexation of Azo and PEG induced microphase separation, forming a lamellar morphology. Within the Azo-rich microphases, mesogens aggregated to form tilted monosmectic layers. By contrast, PEG crystallization within the PEG-rich microphases was hard confined, indicating that the domain size of the lamellar morphology was unchanged during PEG crystallization. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Photoresponsive Polymeric Materials)
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Open AccessArticle
Synthesis and Photocontrolled Supramolecular Self-Assembly of Azobenzene-Functionalized Perylene Bisimide Derivatives
Polymers 2019, 11(7), 1143; https://doi.org/10.3390/polym11071143 - 03 Jul 2019
Abstract
Azobenzene (Azo) units were successfully introduced into perylene bisimide (PBI) structures in order to realize the photocontrolling of the morphology of the supramolecular assembly of PBI by a photoisomerization process. A total of three Azo-functionalized perylene bisimide derivatives (PBI1, PBI2, [...] Read more.
Azobenzene (Azo) units were successfully introduced into perylene bisimide (PBI) structures in order to realize the photocontrolling of the morphology of the supramolecular assembly of PBI by a photoisomerization process. A total of three Azo-functionalized perylene bisimide derivatives (PBI1, PBI2, and PBI3) with different alkyl chain lengths were designed and synthesized by imidization of 3,4,9,10-perylene tetracarboxylic dianhydride with the corresponding amines. The structures of these compounds were characterized by proton nuclear magnetic resonance (1H NMR) and matrix-assisted laser desorption ionization time-of-flight mass spectrometry (MALDI-TOF-MS). The photoisomerization behaviors of Azo units in PBIs were investigated using ultraviolet-visible (UV-VIS) absorption spectroscopy, which were obviously effected by solvents and the alkyl chain length. Furthermore, the photoisomerization of Azo units has the obviously regulatory effect on the morphology of supramolecular assembly of PBIs, especially for the medium-length alkyl chain-linked Azo-functionalized PBI derivative (PBI2). This research realized the photocontrolling of the morphology of the supramolecular assembly of PBI derivatives by photoisomerization of Azo units. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Photoresponsive Polymeric Materials)
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Open AccessArticle
Molecular Design of Microcapsule Shells for Visible Light-Triggered Release
Polymers 2019, 11(5), 904; https://doi.org/10.3390/polym11050904 - 17 May 2019
Abstract
The development of photo-responsive capsules to tune and control the sustained-release of encapsulated actives is a fascinating and challenging route to improve the performances and effectiveness of a wide range of delivery applications. In this work, we report the preparation of visible light-responsive [...] Read more.
The development of photo-responsive capsules to tune and control the sustained-release of encapsulated actives is a fascinating and challenging route to improve the performances and effectiveness of a wide range of delivery applications. In this work, we report the preparation of visible light-responsive capsules obtained via oil-in-water interfacial polycondensation between modified diacyl-chloride azobenzene moiety and diamine flexible spacer in the presence of cross-linkers with different structures and functionalities. The effect on the release profile of the encapsulated perfume oil was investigated using three flexible spacers with different lengths (1,8-diaminooctane; 1,6-diaminohexane and 1,4-diaminobutane) and two types of cross-linkers (1,3,5-benzenetricarbonyl trichloride and melamine). We analyzed how the properties of microcapsules can be tailored changing the design of the shell structure. Fine tuning of the perfume release profiles was obtained. The changes in capsules size and morphology due to visible light irradiation were monitored via light scattering, optical microscopy and atomic force microscopy. Perfume release was 50% faster in the systems prepared with melamine as the cross-linker. Modelling studies were carried out to support the discussion of the experimental results. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Photoresponsive Polymeric Materials)
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