Rapid photochromic switching in a rigid polymer matrix using living radical polymerization

Georgina K. Such, Richard A. Evans, Thomas P. Davis

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64 Citations (Scopus)


Fast switching of a photochromic dye in a rigid host matrix has been achieved without any modification of electronic nature of the photochromic entity. The method utilizes living radical polymerization (atom transfer radical polymerization (ATRP)) to grow a low glass transition temperature (Tg) poly(n-butyl acrylate) polymer from a spirooxazine core, creating a low-T g environment to cushion the photochromic dye while keeping the bulk matrix rigid. In these systems, decoloration speed of the photochromic (t 1/2) was reduced by 40-75% depending on the molecular weight of the poly(n-butyl acrylate) attached. We have demonstrated with this methodology a controlled tuning of photochromic switching. Coarse and fine tuning can be achieved by adjusting first the choice of polymer and second the molecular weight of the polymer.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1391-1396
Number of pages6
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 21 Feb 2006
Externally publishedYes

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