Depolymerization of Trityl End-Capped Poly(Ethyl Glyoxylate): Potential Applications in Smart Packaging

Bo Fan, Rómulo Salazar, Elizabeth R. Gillies

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13 Citations (Scopus)


The temperature-dependent depolymerization of self-immolative poly(ethyl glyoxylate) (PEtG) capped with triphenylmethyl (trityl) groups is studied and its potential application for smart packaging is explored. PEtGs with four different trityl end-caps are prepared and found to undergo depolymerization to volatile products from the solid state at different rates depending on temperature and the electron-donating substituents on the trityl aromatic rings. Through the incorporation of hydrophobic dyes including Nile red and IR-780, the depolymerization is visualized as a color change of the dye as it changes from a dispersed to aggregated state. The ability of this platform to provide information on thermal history through an easily readable signal makes it promising in smart packaging applications for sensitive products such a food and other cargo that is susceptible to degradation.

Original languageEnglish
Article number1800173
Number of pages6
JournalMacromolecular Rapid Communications
Issue number11
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jun 2018
Externally publishedYes


  • degradation
  • films
  • stimuli-sensitive

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