A novel stimuli-responsive fluorescent elastomer based on an AIE mechanism†
In this paper, a facile approach for the synthesis of stimuli-responsive fluorescent elastomer was developed. Tetraphenylethylene (TPE) derivant was linked to flexible polydimethylsiloxane (PDMS) polymer chains by covalent bonding with a silane coupling agent, followed by condensation reaction with tetraethylorthosilicate (TEOS) as the curing agent via sol–gel reaction to obtain the fluorescent elastomer. 1HNMR and FTIR spectroscopy studies showed the degree of the reaction, and the homogeneous distribution of the TPE derivant in the elastomer was confirmed by SEM, XRD and PL spectra. Due to the hampered intramolecular rotation of the aryl rotors of the dye molecules with the intertwined polymer chains, the cured elastomers showed intense fluorescence emission. In addition, the elastomers exhibited stimuli-sensitive fluorescence against temperature, and their responsiveness was found to be reversible.