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Issue 9, 2017
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Photo-responsive thiol–ene networks for the design of switchable polymer patterns

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Abstract

This study highlights the photo-patternable degradation of thiol–ene networks by combining the photoisomerization of o-nitrobenzyl ester (o-NBE) groups with the advantages of a photo-induced “click” reaction. Photo-responsive alkene monomers with o-NBE links are synthesized and crosslinked with selected multi-functional thiols via radical-mediated thiol–ene chemistry. By pursuing an initiation with visible light (λ > 400 nm), fast and efficient photopolymerization of the monomers is obtained under mild conditions without inducing the photocleavage of the o-NBE links. The UV induced (λ < 400 nm) photo-degradation involving a cleavage of covalent links is controlled by the functionality of the thiol crosslinker and evidenced by sol–gel analysis. The wavelength dependent changes in solubility are then applied for the design of polymer patterns which are inscribed in thin polymer films by photolithographic processes and characterized by microscopy techniques. Negative tone patterns are achieved by the radical-mediated photopolymerization of the monomers upon visible light exposure. Subsequent UV irradiation allows switching to positive tone patterns by spatially controlled photodegradation of the thiol–ene networks and surface relief patterns with a resolution of 4 μm are accomplished.

Graphical abstract: Photo-responsive thiol–ene networks for the design of switchable polymer patterns

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Publication details

The article was received on 11 Jan 2017, accepted on 30 Jan 2017 and first published on 31 Jan 2017


Article type: Paper
DOI: 10.1039/C7PY00055C
Citation: Polym. Chem., 2017,8, 1562-1572
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    Photo-responsive thiol–ene networks for the design of switchable polymer patterns

    S. V. Radl, C. Schipfer, S. Kaiser, A. Moser, B. Kaynak, W. Kern and S. Schlögl, Polym. Chem., 2017, 8, 1562
    DOI: 10.1039/C7PY00055C

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