Redox-Active, Actuating Ladder Polymer


Wen Jie Ong


Wen Jie Ong, Timothy M. Swager

Author Affiliation: 

Massachusetts Institute of Technology


Thianthrene has been studied extensively for its redox activity, and an interesting aspect of its redox chemistry is the geometric changes that accompany oxidation. In its neutral state, thianthrene is a bent molecule with a fold angle of 128 degree between the two planes of benzene rings. Upon oxidation, both the radical cation and the dication attain planarity with a fold angle of ~180 degree. In search of electrochemically active actuating materials capable of producing large dimensional changes, we envision that the incorporation of a high concentration of thianthrene moieties into the backbones of ladder polymers will allow for maximum chain extension and hence actuation. Based on calculations, flattening of the ring results in a ~7% increase in length. Herein, we report the synthesis and redox activity of a novel thianthrene-containing ladder polymer.