Self-strengthening Material

Congratulations to Ashley, Zach, and collaborators!  Their article, “Mechanochemical Strengthening of a Synthetic Polymer in Response to Typically Destructive Shear Forces“, has been accepted for publication in Nature Chemistry.  In the paper, they show how mechanochemical coupling in bulk polymers and polymer solutions can take destructive mechanical forces and use them to trigger bond forming reactions that increase the modulus of the materials by 1-2 orders of magnitude.

JACS Podcast

A podcast describing our observation of “molecular stress relief” through covalent mechanochemistry in single polymer chains has been published online by J. Am. Chem. Soc. on their JACS(beta) platform.  The complete podcast can be viewed here.

Solid State Mechanochemistry

Congratulations to Ashley, whose paper “Mechanochemically Triggered Bond Formation in Solid-state Polymers” has been published in J. Mater. Chem. The paper is the result of a collaboration with Josh Orlicki at the Army Research Lab. The paper reports that the 2,3-dibromoalkene formed from mechanical activation of gem-dibromocyclopropane mechanophores undergo subsequent nucleophilic substitution by chloride in the solid state. The number of solid-state substitution reactions far exceeds the number of main-chain bonds broken, a finding with implications for the future use of mechanophores in self-strengthening and/or self-healing polymers.