Redox-Active, Actuating Ladder Polymer

Presenter: 

Wen Jie Ong

Authors: 

Wen Jie Ong, Timothy M. Swager

Author Affiliation: 

Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Abstract: 

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.