Flex-activated CO mechanochemical production for mechanical damage detection†
Mechanophores have become a very useful tool to study mechanical stress at the molecular level, as well as a method for detection of mechanical damage. However, optical signals from such mechanophores are limited by light-scattering or simply by the polymer color. Gas-releasing mechanophores are an interesting alternative, which provide a chemical signal which can easily leave a polymer matrix and be detected, although the precise location for the damage is lost. Here the development of a flex-activated CO-releasing mechanophore is presented, and the mechanophore is included in a PMMA network. Upon testing, this mechanophore releases CO in large amounts, which could be detected even with a commercial household CO-detector.