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Issue 8, 2011
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Photochromic materials with tunable color and mechanical flexibility

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Florescence switches based on photochromic compounds have been fabricated previously and identified as potential candidates for information technology. Recently, optically responsive materials with tunable color have been prepared by dissolving photochromic compounds, such as spiropyran (SP), into solutions of various pH or embedding them into sol–gel matrices with adjusted chemical compositions. Here we report on fabricating flexible rubbers with tunable color by embedding SP molecules inside silicone elastomer networks (SENs) based on poly(vinylmethylsiloxane) (PVMS). SP-containing PVMS networks have been further modified either physically by exposing them to ultraviolet/ozone treatment or chemically by attaching functional thiols to the vinyl bonds in PVMS via UV-activated thiol–ene addition. The color hue of the SP–PVMS SENs after exposing to UV light depends on either the UVO dose or the chemical end-functionality of the thiol modifier, respectively. We also present simple methodologies enabling patterning regions in SP-doped SENs with various shapes and colors.

Graphical abstract: Photochromic materials with tunable color and mechanical flexibility

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Publication details

The article was received on 03 Sep 2010, accepted on 28 Oct 2010 and first published on 02 Dec 2010

Article type: Paper
DOI: 10.1039/C0SM00928H
Citation: Soft Matter, 2011,7, 3766-3774
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    Photochromic materials with tunable color and mechanical flexibility

    H. Yang, A. Evren Özçam, K. Efimenko and J. Genzer, Soft Matter, 2011, 7, 3766
    DOI: 10.1039/C0SM00928H

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