This article describes several projects in our laboratory relating to stimuli-responsive conjugated materials using functional side chain moieties. Although side chain engineering has become increasingly important in controlling the packing of conjugated materials, these groups have typically been reserved for imparting solubility to otherwise insoluble materials. By incorporating solubilizing sid... read moree chains through photocleavable nitrobenzyl linkers, new conjugated polymers behave as negative photoresists upon exposure to ultraviolet light with minimal photobleaching. Our approach enables photopatterning and solution-based fabrication of multilayer conjugated polymer films without the use of orthogonally soluble materials. Work to understand the electronic effects of the aromatic side chain substituents in these materials led to the subsequent discovery of aromatic interactions between side chains and main chains that control the conformations of solid-state phenylene-ethynylene oligomers, including highly twisted conjugated backbones. Such materials, when appropriately substituted, display reversible piezochromic and mechanofluorochromic behavior.read less
Thomas, S. W. III, Pawle, R. H.; Smith, Z. C. "Stimuli-Responsive Side Chains for New Function from Conjugated Materials." J. Photochem. Photobiol. A: Chemistry, 2016, 322-323, 119-128. doi: 10.1016/j.jphotochem.2016.02.019.